Puerto Rico has voted in favor of statehood twice — but is the United States ready for Puerto Rico to be the 51st state?
A new study from Rasmussen Reports not only says yes to that question, but shows that people living in the states are increasingly ready to accept Puerto Rico statehood.
Rasmussen conducted a phone and internet survey of 1,000 American adults across the country. They asked just one question about Puerto Rico: “Should Puerto Rico be a state?”
Rasmussen has asked this question since 2013. Here are the results:
- September 2013: 35% said yes. Most Americans didn’t know that Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, or that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.
- July 2015: 33% said yes. Puerto Rico’s debt crisis was in the headlines at that time.
- March 2017: 40% said yes. At that time, other surveys showed that just under half of Americans understood that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.
- January 2018: 47% now say that Puerto Rico should become a state.
34% of respondents in the newest survey say that Puerto Rico should not be a state, and 19% are not sure. This means that the largest number of answers favored statehood for Puerto Rico.
The American public doesn’t have to agree to statehood for Puerto Rico. Congress can vote to make a territory into a state at any time, and a simple majority win is all that’s required. However, Congress is likely to vote in the way that they believe their constituents want them to vote.
This is why we always ask you to tell your representatives that you want statehood. No matter where you live, no matter where you come from, you have a voice in Congress. If you live in Puerto Rico, your only voice is one non-voting members. People living in Puerto Rico need the help of people living in the states to get the word to Congress. Tell your legislators that you want equality for Puerto Rico — that means statehood.