Gallup, a major polling organization since 1935, has announced a new poll on statehood for Washington, D.C. Results of the poll should be public on July 15th.
This is the first Gallup poll on the subject. Gallup polled Americans on Puerto Rico statehood in 1998, continuing a tradition of national polling about prospective states. At that time, 30% favored statehood, compared with 28% for independence and 26% favoring continued territory status. The majority of respondents said they would accept whatever the voters of Puerto Rico chose as their status.
Gallup has not revisited the question since 1998, but there is evidence that Americans in general have increased support for Puerto Rico statehood.
The Hill-HarrisX poll of 1000 Americans found that 47% would choose statehood for Puerto Rico. This is the same figure given by Rassmussen last year. In both cases, there were people who chose “undecided” or other answers, so the 47% in favor was the largest group.
In both cases, too, the number of people favoring statehood for Puerto Rico was larger than the number who would accept statehood for Washington, D.C.
A poll by Data for Progress found that 53% of those polled would support statehood for Puerto Rico. 34% favored statehood for Washington, D.C.
Fox News surveyed 1,000 Americans and found that 41% were in favor of statehood for Puerto Rico. Again, this was the largest group. 9% chose independence and 37% would prefer that Puerto Rico remain a territory.
Voter/Consumer Research polled only Central Florida voters of Puerto Rican heritage. 64% of this group favored statehood for Puerto Rico.
In all of these polls, statehood for Puerto Rico outstripped not only other status options, but also statehood for D.C.
Increase in approval for statehood
Statehood has been the most popular choice for Puerto Rico’s status for a long time. Polls that compare earlier results show that statehood is becoming more popular over time.
One reason is that Americans in general are becoming more educated about Puerto Rico’s status. As the infographic below shows, many Americans did not know that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens by birth until Hurricane Maria brought the fact into the headlines.
Americans in the states often did not understand that Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States. Many were shocked to learn that Puerto Rico has no vote in presidential elections and little voice in the federal government. As people become more educated about Puerto Rico, they are more likely to support statehood.
Congress will make the final decision about statehood for Puerto Rico. When lawmakers know that their constituents support statehood for Puerto Rico, they will be more likely to support statehood, too. Make sure your representatives know that you support statehood. Tell them so.