JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Democrats hope a ballot proposal to hike Missouri's minimum wage will boost support for Sen. Claire McCaskill's re-election, a seat Republicans are targeting as a top opportunity to insulate their Senate majority.

The proposal would gradually raise the state's current $7.85 minimum wage to $12 an hour.

McCaskill benefited from a similar minimum wage ballot measure during her first Senate campaign in 2006. However, there is some debate about the impact this time.

Democratic consultant Jack Cardetti says the minimum wage hike could boost Democratic turnout in the same way a measure to ban compulsory union fees did earlier this month during Missouri's primary.

Republican consultant James Harris, who is working on GOP challenger Josh Hawley's campaign, doubts there will be a repeat in the fall.