Sanders wins $15 minimum wage in Dems platform draft

A protester holds a sign in Upper Senate Park during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, July 22, 2015, to push for a raise to $15 an hour for the minimum wage.
Al Drago | CQ Roll Call | Getty Images

A draft of the Democratic party's platform released Friday fully endorses a $15 minimum wage, a victory for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had made the issue a central point of his populist campaign.

"Democrats believe that the current minimum wage is a starvation wage and must be increased to a living wage," according to the platform. "We believe that Americans should earn at least $15 an hour."

While Sanders has called for a $15 minimum wage, Hillary Clinton — the candidate who will presumably be nominated in Philadelphia alongside the approval of a party platform — lists on her website that she supports raising the federal minimum wage to $12. However, her website also says Clinton supports going further than the federal minimum wage through state and local efforts.

In an interview with the Washington Post earlier Friday, Sanders' top policy advisor Warren Gunnels praised the draft of the platform.

"There are some very good initiatives in this platform that will create millions of jobs and rebuild the middle class," Gunnels told the publication. "This document is not perfect. We hope to improve it. But we're off to an excellent start, and we look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Clinton's campaign to make this the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party."

Although Clinton was the clear winner of the Democratic primary, Sanders has so far declined to formally withdraw from the race or endorse her. He has made clear that advancing his progressive agenda onto the party's platform is a priority for his campaign, even as he admitted late last month, "it doesn't appear that I'm gonna be the nominee."

The platform was approved by the Platform Drafting Committee, and now heads to the party's full Platform Committee for final approval at a meeting in Orlando, Florida, on July 8 and 9. The final document approved by the full Platform Committee will be presented for ratification at the Democratic National Convention, to be held in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28.

Sanders has roughly 1,900 delegates headed to the convention, while Clinton has just over 2,800 according to NBC News.