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Americans support minimum wage increase, extending jobless benefits: poll

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A new poll shows that a majority of American voters support raising the minimum wage and extending jobless benefits.

It also shows that President Obama has stopped his slipping approval ratings.

The Quinnipiac University poll (http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=1993) of showed that 71 percent of registered voters support a minimum wage hike.

The support crosses partisan lines, with 54 percent of Republicans supporting an increase compared to 45 percent who oppose.

Coming into the election year, congressional Democrats say they plan on pushing to increase the minimum wage and extending jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

The poll showed that voters support extending unemployment benefits three months by a 58-37 percent margin. More than eight in ten Democrats support an increase in jobless benefits, compared to 54 percent of both Independents and Republicans

The poll also found that Mr. Obama’s dipping approval rating has leveled out, with 41 percent approving of the job he is doing and 53 percent disapproving.

“The President returns to chilly Washington DC from his Hawaii holidays to a slightly warmer reception from American voters,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“It’s too early to call it a comeback, but the 2014 midterm election year begins a bit better than 2013 ended for President Obama. His approval is right above the 40 percent mark – a red line for any president. He still has terrible scores for his handling of healthcare and other issues that mean most to Americans, but the bleeding seems to have stopped.”

The survey of 1,487 registered voters was conducted from Jan. 4 to Jan. 7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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