economic inequality

Do you support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour nationwide?

Yes

Yes

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“It’s well past time to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. This increase would include workers who aren’t currently earning the minimum wage, like the farmworkers who grow our food and domestic workers who care for our aging, sick, and for those with disabilities. As president, I will also support indexing the minimum wage to the median hourly wage so that low-wage workers’ wages keep up with those of middle-income workers,” Biden told The Post.

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Joe Biden
Biden

Mike Bloomberg (Dropped out)

Former New York mayor

Bloomberg is no longer running for president. In his economic plan, Bloomberg pledged to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, indexed to inflation.

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Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg

Cory Booker (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is no longer running for president. “Yes, I am an original co-sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act,” Booker told The Post.

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Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “I support a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage. We also need to increase the federal tipped minimum wage,” Bullock told The Post. “As a private citizen, I led a successful initiative to raise the minimum wage in Montana and index it to inflation. I’ll bring that same fight to Washington on behalf of working families.”

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Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg (Dropped out)

Former mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg is no longer running for president. “I support raising the minimum wage to $15 and indexing it to wage growth, which would benefit over 33 million workers, as I describe in my labor plan, “A New Rising Tide.” Increasing the minimum wage doesn’t just benefit workers making minimum wage--it also helps raise wages for workers making close to the minimum wage. I will push to pass the Raise the Wage Act and end the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities (as detailed in my “Dignity, Access, and Belonging” plan) and tipped minimum wage.”

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro (Dropped out)

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro is no longer running for president. “Raise the minimum wage to a living wage of at least $15 per hour for all workers, including tipped, farm, domestic, and disabled workers,” Castro's working families plan said. “For over a decade, we haven’t raised the minimum wage, which has been losing purchasing power every year. It would be worth over $19 an hour if we had kept pace with productivity growth.”

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Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney is no longer running for president. “Yes, with an appropriate phase-in period,” Delaney told The Post. His campaign website said his plan would increase the wage to $15 per hour, “including for tipped employees, and then index it to inflation.”

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John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard is no longer running for president. Gabbard co-sponsored the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. She did not vote when the bill was presented in the House in July.

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. “To raise wages, Kamala will fight to empower unions, make a $15 minimum wage the national floor, and create stricter penalties for companies that cheat their workers,” Harris's campaign website said.

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Kamala Harris
Harris

Amy Klobuchar (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is no longer running for president. Klobuchar supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour nationwide, she told The Post. In her plan for her first 100 days in office, Klobuchar says she would raise the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15 an hour, "in line with her goal of increasing the federal minimum wage" to that amount.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Deval Patrick (Dropped out)

Former governor, Massachusetts

Patrick is no longer running for president. “We will work with Congress to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour and end the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers and those with disabilities,” Patrick's social infrastructure plan said. “Once it’s reset, it should be indexed to trends in the broader economy like median wage growth so that it is not eroded overtime as it has been. Until Congress acts, my administration will require that all federal contractors offer workers at least $15 an hour, as well as fair benefits and the right to unionize.”

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Deval Patrick
Patrick

Bernie Sanders (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders is no longer running for president. “Yes. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 minimum wage is a starvation wage. Nobody can live on $7.25. You can’t live on $8. You can’t live on $10 an hour,” Sanders told The Post. Sanders “has been leading the fight to raise the minimum wage and as president, [he] will raise the minimum wage to a living wage of at least $15 an hour. A job must lift workers out of poverty, not keep them in it.” He introduced the Raise the Wage Act in 2019.

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “Yes, at some point soon. I favor a minimum wage pegged to 50 percent of the average hourly wage — which is the point at which economists have proven a minimum wage does not lead to job losses,” Sestak told The Post. “At the moment, that would mean a roughly $14 minimum wage, but it would soon rise to $15 and above as wages rise.”

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Joe Sestak
Sestak

Tom Steyer (Dropped out)

Billionaire activist

Steyer is no longer running for president. Steyer supports a $15 minimum wage, he told The Post. “As a result of taking away the rights of working people and organized labor, people haven't had a raise — 90 percent of Americans — have not had a raise for 40 years,” he said at the October Democratic debate. “If you took the minimum wage from 1980 and just adjusted it for inflation, you get 11 bucks. It's $7.25. If you included the productivity gains of American workers, it would be over 20 bucks.” On his campaign website, Steyer said he would support a $15-per-hour hour minimum wage.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren is no longer running for president. “I will fight to pass the Raise the Wage Act, which increases the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour for all workers - including tipped workers and workers with disabilities - and indexes the minimum wage to median wage growth,” Warren's wage plan said.

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Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson (Dropped out)

Author

Williamson is no longer running for president. “Yes. I want every American to have enough economic security to get a good education and pursue their dreams. Human creativity and productivity foster both peace and prosperity. We all win when we all win,” Williamson told The Post. Her campaign website called for a $15-per-hour minimum wage. “In areas where this is too large a jump to make immediately, the federal government should provide subsidies during a transitional period,” it said.

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Yes, except in low-cost areas

Yes, except in low-cost areas

Michael Bennet (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet is no longer running for president. “Yes, I support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour,” Bennet told The Post. “I also believe we should phase in that increase and provide an exemption for low-cost communities — primarily rural areas — where $15 per hour may reduce employment opportunities. Those exemptions should be based on the best economic analysis available and should be updated as data comes in to show which levels of minimum wage are most beneficial to workers across the country.”

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

Prefers something else

Prefers something else

Andrew Yang (Dropped out)

Tech entrepreneur

Yang is no longer running for president. Yang “supports the spirit of raising the minimum wage, but this has the potential to incentivize employers to invest in automation,” his campaign told The Post. “By giving every American a Freedom Dividend of $1,000 a month, everyone gets a $6 an hour raise. Additionally, unlike a minimum wage, the Freedom Dividend rewards the work done by mothers, caregivers, volunteers, and others who would not benefit from a minimum wage increase.”

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Andrew Yang
Yang

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Background The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009, although many states have higher minimums. House Democrats in July passed the Raise the Wage Act, which would phase it up to $15 by 2025, but the plan was a nonstarter for Senate Republicans who argue that added labor costs would encourage businesses to hire fewer workers. In 2016, Hillary Clinton called for a $12 federal minimum wage, but she encouraged local governments in high-cost areas to adopt higher base wages. The 2020 presidential candidates have almost uniformly embraced the “Fight for $15” movement, which has fueled union activists across the country.

How candidate positions were compiled

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic presidential campaign asking whether it supports various changes to U.S. economic policy. Candidates with similar stances were organized into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role, and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town hall meetings and other news reports and surveys. See something we missed? Let us know.

This page will update as we learn more about the candidates’ plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president. If a candidate dropped out after a question was published here, their stance is included under the "Show former candidates" option. If they dropped out before a question was first published, the Post did not reach out to get their stance.

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Candidate illustrations by Ben Kirchner.