Republicans might have overcome those hurdles [war in Iraq and the botched response to Hurricane Katrina] in Missouri and Montana had it not been for the minimum wage issues there. Those victories delivered the party a two-seat Senate majority.Of course, 2006 was a wave year and yes, there were other hugely significant issues. But minimum wage remains a very popular issue, and it's going to be on the ballot in several states in 2014, including Arkansas, where Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is campaigning on the issue even as he opposes raising the federal minimum wage. It has the potential to be a powerful turnout issue for Democrats in states with potentially close elections. But Republican opposition to requiring businesses to pay above poverty wages is so fierce that they're handing Democrats this potent weapon for November's elections.
In all, Democrats picked up U.S. House or Senate seats in five of six states where voters approved raising the wage floor in 2006.
Sen. Claire McCaskill's 2006 win was helped by a minimum wage measure on the Missouri ballot.
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