60 Years Later, Poll Still Shows 2 In 3 Americans Support Statehood For Puerto Rico
It’s no secret that Puerto Ricans have been petitioning for statehood for as long as the island has been deemed a U.S. territory. But that doesn’t matter as much to Congress. Pues, it’s time to listen up, Congress, because a Gallup poll has recently shown that 66 percent of non-Puerto Rican Americans favor admitting the island into the Union.
That percentage average has remained constant since Gallup started asking the question in 1962. Only 7% of state-side Americans had no opinion and 27 percent opposed statehood.
Two years ago, Puerto Ricans polled at 97 percent in favor of statehood.
Puerto Rico transferred into becoming a U.S. “territory” in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans pay for social security, income tax and other shared responsibilities of state residents, but they can’t sway the presidential election either way.
Forty-five percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Democrats support statehood.
Given the corruption and its consequent protests underway in Puerto Rico, 45 has decided to chime in. In a tweet, President Trump said, “A lot of bad things are happening in Puerto Rico. The Governor is under siege, the Mayor of San Juan is a despicable and incompetent person who I wouldn’t trust under any circumstance, and the United States Congress foolishly gave 92 Billion Dollars for hurricane relief.”
Puerto Ricans who support Trump are responding by telling him that they want him to include Puerto Rico as a U.S. state.
Others think Puerto Rico would be a moral drain to the U.S. government.
Puerto Rico is calling on its Governor Ricardo Roselló to resign after a conversation was leaked during which he was using homophobic slurs against Ricky Martin, alongside misogynistic against San Juan’s mayor. The corruption is very real when it comes to Gov. Roselló, but he does not represent Puerto Rico any longer. Not in the hearts of Puerto Ricans after what is felt as a betrayal to the people.
Meanwhile, the aftermath of Hurricane Maria has fueled the desire for statehood for others.
The delayed response from FEMA, and the shuffle of Puerto Ricans from FEMA assisted housing to the U.S. homeless shelter system has led many Boricuas to feel “less than” American. In fact, Puerto Ricans are 100% American.
Although the majority of all Americans support statehood, politics seems to be the greatest obstacle to democracy at the moment.
Credit: @charlievazquez / Twitter
Trump has been in a pissing contest between San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for her criticism of his treatment of Boricuas. He did throw paper towels at us. On top of that, protests have lined the streets of San Juan demanding that Governor Ricardo Roselló resign.
Meanwhile, on the island, the very loud minority of folks who are anti-statehood are using the moment of chaos to express their views.
Kelly Diaz tweeted a photo of “one of the protesters climbing to remove the American flag in front of the Puerto Rico Capitol and replace it with a black and white Puerto Rican flag.”
She aptly commented that it’s, “No surprise here, given that Ricky’s fiercest opponents belong to anti-statehood interest groups.”
With public opinion in favor, and the current events at hand, it may just be the perfect storm to put statehood on the political issue map.
Democratic primaries are upon us and constituents are tweeting to the debate moderators requesting that the question of Puerto Rican statehood be included in the debate. So far, Julian Castro has been the first and only candidate to demand that #RickyRenuncia. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are notable candidates who have stated they want the Governor to answer to the Puerto Rican people.
It’s hard to imagine that Trump would look to Puerto Rico as a resource to the Union after Hurricane Maria, but it all depends on 2020.
The running feud between Trump and Puerto Rican leadership means that the U.S. Senate, currently taken by the GOP, would likely never approve a bill for Puerto Rican statehood.
Although this guy has a very interesting new option for the island.