Four Republican-leaning states passed minimum wage increase initiatives on Tuesday, a small bit of good news in an otherwise bleak night for Democrats.
The states that approved minimum wage hikes on Tuesday were Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and West Virginia.
In Alaska, a move to raise the minimum wage to $9.75 an hour by 2016 passed with 69 percent of the vote. Arkansas, a vote to raise the minimum wage to $8.50 by 2017 passed with 65 percent of the vote. In Nebraska, a hike to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2016 passed with 59 percent of the vote. Finally, in South Dakota a hike to raise the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour by 2015 passed with 53 percent of the vote.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. President Barack Obama has called for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
Also on Tuesday, San Francisco became the second city in the U.S., behind Seattle, to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour.