Minimum wage = maximized turnout. From a reader:
Missouri Minimum Wage Issue: Yes — 1,557,465 (76%) No 495,180 (24%)
Missouri Senate Difference: 40K votes
Montana Minimum Wage Issue: Yes — 283,258 (73%) No 106,777 (27%)
Montana Senate Difference: 3K votes
Since low wage earners just might be more disposed to vote for democrats, I think it is fair to say that these ballot measures cost the Republicans the Senate. Are there three thousand voters in Montana who went to the polls to vote themselves a raise? And, these measures certainly made things worse for the GOP in AZ, CO, NV, OH (the other states with wage measures). It may have been the difference for Hayworth (AZ) and O’Donnell (CO).
Mark Levin and Ramesh both took shots as President Bush for mentioning a potential increase in the minimum raise on Wednesday. But, I think he did it because Republicans have to make sure that minimum wage ballot measures do not appear in every State expected to be close in the 2008 Presidential election. We are basically played out on the use of the “Defense of Marriage” ballot initiatives to support Republican voter turnout. Bush absolutely, and without a doubt, would not have won Ohio without the Amendment in 2004 and the Dems know it.
The Democrats learned from the GOP’s GOTV ballot measures in 2004, and their version delivered the Senate for them in 2006.