Residents of Puerto Rico can vote in presidential primaries, but not in the general election, even though people born in Puerto Rico are citizens of the United States. Pasquines, a news magazine focusing on Puerto Rico, will be holding online polls from now until the general election to determine how Puerto Rico would vote if given the opportunity.
Since the winner of Puerto Rico’s Republican primary, Marco Rubio, has suspended his candidacy and the Democratic primary will not take place until June, even the results of Puerto Rico’s primaries may not give as much information about Puerto Rico’s political positions as it usually would. This year in particular, the Pasquines poll will provide a chance to learn about Puerto Rico’s preferences that might not otherwise be available.
It is widely believed that Puerto Rico would be a Democratic state, but there is evidence against that assumption. Since Puerto Rico’s Democratic and Republican parties do not necessarily focus on the same issues as the national Republican and Democratic parties, it is difficult to extrapolate from the Island’s choices in the primaries or from the current party membership. Puerto Ricans tend to identify themselves as conservatives — in a 2014 survey of Florida voters from Puerto Rico, most said they were conservative, regardless of the party they voted for.
Just as U.S. predictions about the territories of Hawaii and Alaska turned out to be mistaken, Current predictions about the preferences of voters in Puerto Rico may ultimately turn out to be misguided.
The first poll is currently live on the Pasquines site. Pasquines will be taking steps against duplicate entries and other attempts to manipulate the data, and will share the results in English and Spanish once collection and calculation are complete.