WASHINGTON (AP) — Win or lose, Democrats hope this week's expected Senate showdown over raising the federal minimum wage reaps them benefits in November's congressional elections.

But whether they'll get an Election Day payoff is uncertain.

The Senate is likely to vote Wednesday on a Democratic plan to gradually raise the $7.25 hourly minimum wage to $10.10 as soon as 2016. Republicans are expected to block it.

Nearly two-thirds of those earning $7.25 or less are women. Nearly half are people under age 25.

Both groups tend to vote Democratic. The party hopes this week's vote will win their backing this November.

But women don't automatically back Democrats. In 2010 they split their vote between the parties. And young people often don't bother voting in midterm elections.

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