A Gallup poll released today found that 66% of Americans are in favor of Puerto Rican statehood, which is slightly higher than the historical trend since polling began in 1962.
What’s really fascinating, though, is that Americans absolutely do not support D.C. statehood, opposing it by roughly the same margins.
Americans are much more likely to oppose (64%) than to favor (29%) making Washington, D.C., a separate state. These results are consistent with past polling on the topic by other firms, which also found majorities opposed to the idea.
Conventional wisdom is that Republicans oppose D.C. statehood because it would add more Democratic representation to Congress, but the fact is that Puerto Rico statehood would end with the same result, so it’s difficult to discern the motivations behind the difference in opinion.
Puerto Ricans themselves seem to support statehood, with some caveats:
At the ballot box, Puerto Ricans have supported statehood in referendums conducted over the past decade. For example, 97% of voters cast their ballots in favor of statehood in 2017. However, the low 23% turnout rate in the 2017 referendum has given statehood opponents ammunition to cast doubt on the vote’s legitimacy, particularly because leaders opposed to statehood urged their sympathizers to boycott the election.
Republicans oppose Puerto Rican statehood, but only by a slim 48%-43% plurality. However, neither outcome is particularly likely as long as Republicans control the Senate, or if Democrats have a majority that is not filibuster-proof.