Poll: Democrats Want Puerto Rico Statehood More Than Puerto Ricans

(Photo by RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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With current control in Congress and the White House, Democrats are considering attempting to add Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico as states. The additions will likely give Democrats more power, which may explain why Democrats support Puerto Rico statehood more than Puerto Ricans.

A recent Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults taken from April 25-27 found that a plurality of Americans (43%) support statehood for Puerto Rico, while 31% were opposed and about a quarter were undecided.

However, the approval for Puerto Rican statehood increased by 20 points among Democrats.

The poll found 63% of Democrats approved of statehood for Puerto Rico. Just 13% of Democrats were opposed, although another 24% remained undecided. Even if all undecided Democrats surveyed ended up opposing Puerto Rico statehood, support for Puerto Rico statehood would still be higher among U.S. Democrats than native Puerto Ricans.

In the Nov. 3, 2020 Puerto Rico Statehood Referendum, just over 52% of voters said that Puerto Rico should seek statehood, according to Ballotpedia. (RELATED: The Push For DC Statehood Is Really Just About Protecting The Most Powerful People In The Country)

Independents surveyed by the Economist/YouGov poll closely mirrored the attitudes of all U.S. Adults. A plurality (45%) of independents approved of Puerto Rico statehood, 32% opposed, and 23% remained undecided. 

Unsurprisingly, the poll found 58% of Republicans opposed statehood for Puerto Rico, given statehood for the island territory or the nation’s capital is likely to empower Democrats in the Senate. The remaining 42% was split evenly between undecided and in favor.

Previous polls have indicated that Americans may be more zealous to add Puerto Rico as a state than actual Puerto Ricans. A Gallup poll from 2019 found that around two-thirds of American adults favored Puerto Rico statehood at that time.