Thumbtack, an online service that connects consumers with skilled professionals to get things done, today announced the political results from its latest Economic Sentiment Survey, a national monthly poll of skilled professionals about issues that may affect their work. Findings from more than 10,000 respondents across the U.S. indicate support for a $15 minimum wage and a preference for presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders among decided voters.
Specifically, when asked “Which presidential candidate do you support?” results were as follows:
Among the voters we heard from, 20 percent support Bernie Sanders, 15 percent support Donald Trump, 13 percent support Hillary Clinton, 6 percent support Ted Cruz and 3 percent support John Kasich.
In New York state, skilled professionals were even more supportive of Senator Sanders:
Among the decided voters in this community, Bernie Sanders was the favorite by 44 percent, followed by 25 percent for Hillary Clinton and 24 percent for Donald Trump.
Although the two remaining Democratic candidates had far more support from the skilled professionals we heard from, this is not because this group is overwhelmingly left-leaning. In fact, the share of our respondents that identified as being in one of the three conservative typologies (27.9 percent) is almost identical to the share of those identifying in one of the liberal groups (28.3 percent).
A more salient explanation for the different levels of current support for the two parties’ candidates is that more than a third of self-identified conservatives remain undecided. This is particularly true among skilled professionals identifying as leaning “slightly conservative,” with 46 percent of this group not yet attached to a candidate.
Far fewer liberals are undecided as to their choice, with only 24 percent not yet stating a preference for one of the remaining candidates. Still, these differences in decided voters don’t entirely explain Senator Sander’s first place position among skilled professionals. Illustrating this, among the election’s most pivotal group — moderates — Bernie Sanders again finishes in first, taking 17.7 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 13.1 percent and Donald Trump’s 12.5 percent.
Like more and more Americans, this ideologically-balanced set of skilled professionals is also supportive of an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Our results show that this support is partly out of self-interest. That is, the share of skilled professionals reporting that they would directly benefit from this change is greater than the share that say that they would be directly harmed. More than a third of skilled professionals think a $15 per hour minimum wage would increase demand for the services they offer, thereby directly boosting their bottom line.
Similarly, the small businesses we surveyed that currently have employees mostly do not anticipate that a higher minimum wage would affect their labor costs since they already pay their employees more than $15 / hour.
Of the 43 percent of small business employers that do anticipate an increase in their cost of doing business (only 19 percent of the entire group), more than half reported that they would offset this by raising prices for their consumers. Only 29 percent indicated that they would reduce their employees’ hours or the size of their workforce and 20 percent said they would not change their business practices at all.
Thumbtack’s total community of skilled professionals consists of more than 230,000 small and independent business owners in the United States. They represent more than 1,100 service categories, from home and professional services such as electricians, house cleaners, and plumbers, to specialized services such as photography, personal trainers, and massage therapists, to independent writers, lawyers, and tax preparers. They use Thumbtack to start and grow their business, as the site features professional profiles, services, and customer reviews.