People who argue that statehood is impossible for Puerto Rico often give this reason: the Republican Congress won’t allow a Democratic territory like Puerto Rico to become a state.
Is Puerto Rico a Democratic territory?
The Democratic and Republican parties don’t match up with Puerto Rico’s political parties, and Puerto Rico has never had the chance to vote for a president or for lawmakers. So there is no direct evidence of how the people of Puerto Rico will vote when Puerto Rico becomes a state.
We have some other evidence. A survey of Florida voters of Puerto Rico heritage showed that these voters have only a slight tendency to vote Democratic more often than Republican.
We can also see that the Puerto Rico Equality Commission is made up of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, plus one independent.
The Republicans include former Gov. Luis Fortuño, National Republican Committeewoman Zoraida Fonalledas, and retired Maj. Gen. Félix Santoni. The Democrats include former Governors Pedro Rosselló González and Carlos Romero Barceló and former Puerto Rico Senate President Charlie Rodríguez. The independent member is Baseball Hall of Fame member Iván Rodríguez.
Statehood supporters from both sides
Current Residential Commissioner Jenniffer González Colon is a Republican. Former Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi was a democrat. Both are staunch supporters of statehood.
Among the legislators for the 50 states, there are statehood supporters among both the Democrats and the Republicans.
Predicting future votes.
Hawaii and Alaska were expected to be a Democratic state and a Republican state — and they are, but each state votes on the opposite side of what people expected. Hawaii is now usually a blue state, but was expected to vote red. Alaska now usually votes red, but was expected to vote blue.
Historically, many states have changed color over time. Much of the South, which now tends to vote red, used to be straight-ticket Democratic. There is no reason to think that predictions about Puerto Rico’s voting are accurate.
If it were true that the Congress would refuse to honor the right of Puerto Rico to self-determination for fear of Republican congresspeople and senators, this would not be something to admire or accept. However, the representatives who have been chosen for the Congress by Puerto Rico offer a balanced ticket. There is no need for Congress to avoid respecting Puerto Rico’s demand for statehood in order to keep their numbers balanced.
Tell your legislators that you want statehood for Puerto Rico. Use the Sound Off box on the right, call your representatives, or use our easy email tool.