A recent survey of 1,000 Puerto Rican voters living in six states found that a strong majority — 62% — preferred statehood over other status options for Puerto Rico. How important is statehood for these voters?
Just 19% of respondents said that statehood is not important at all, and 5% weren’t sure. That’s less than one quarter of respondents. More than three quarters of respondents considered this issue at least somewhat important. The question was asked of all the people surveyed, so this question included answers from those who did not prefer statehood.38% considered it very important that Puerto Rico should become a state.
Just over half of respondents said that they had lived in the states their whole lives. Another 28% had lived in a state for more than 20 years. It is clear that this population continues to care about Puerto Rico’s status, even if they would not be directly affected by changes.
Walking the walk
The majority of respondents said that statehood was important to them, and “very important” was the most popular answer. How does this affect their behavior?
68% said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported statehood than for a candidate who did not. 13% were less likely to vote for candidates supporting statehood — that probably is the people who want independence.
15% say that a candidate’s position on statehood makes no difference to them.
Candidates pay attention to the people who are likely to vote for them. That’s just common sense. We know that many of the representatives in Congress don’t really know much about Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States is complicated and the status question is confusing — in fact, there are people who intentionally make it more confusing than it really is.
If your representatives knew that their position on statehood could make a difference to their reelection, they might make the effort to learn about Puerto Rico’s political status and the importance of status for equality and justice for Puerto Rico. Please let them know! Find your reps.