Minimum wage laws reflect political map

Lines of voters wait to cast their ballots as the polls open Nov. 6, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Gov. Mitt Romney has won eight states at this point of the night, according to the Associated Press: Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. Three of them -- Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee -- have no state minimum wage law. That means in those three states, the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour applies, even without a state law.

Georgia sets its minimum at low number, $5.15 an hour; but again, the federal minimum still applies because it's higher than the state wage.

President Obama has taken the vote in higher-wage states: Vermont, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia. All of those states set their minimum higher than the federal rate.

At the top: Vermont, at $8.46 an hour. And the Green Mountain state was called for Obama about a minute after the polls closed.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.
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