The fight to raise the minimum wage has been gaining traction, with cities including Los Angeles and Seattle independently raising pay above the federal minimum. As of now, 29 states and Washington, D.C. have wages above the federal floor of $7.25 an hour that hasn't been raised in six years.
Now with the rhetoric surrounding the 2016 president race likely to intensify in the coming months, a key question is how traditional red states will address the wage fight. By many measures, a higher federal rate won't be an easy climb. And some entrepreneurs already have independently lifted pay above the national minimum.
Perhaps a sign of what's to come, four red states—Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota—last year increased wages in mid-term ballot measures. This as congressional Democrats have pushed to raise the federal minimum to $12 an hour by 2020. Other wage advocates are pushing for $15 an hour, especially in the fast-food sector.