Majority of Florida’s Puerto Rican Voters Support Statehood

A new Equis poll of 600 registered voters of Puerto Rican heritage in Florida shows that these voters support statehood, according to the Miami Herald.

  • 57% favor statehood
  • 26% prefer “Commonwealth” 
  • 6% choose independence

Statehood is the favored choice in Puerto Rico and among stateside Americans in general. Under statehood, Puerto Rico would have the same rights and responsibilities as the 50 States. Currently, Puerto Rico is treated unequally under Medicaid, tax credits, and many other federal laws and regulations. Residents of Puerto Rico can’t vote in presidential elections and have neither senators nor voting members of the House.

“Commonwealth” has no legal meaning in the United States, so this option is really the current territorial status. However, “commonwealth” supporters use the term for a hypothetical “enhanced commonwealth” idea.

6% is a higher percentage favoring independence than has ever been reached in Puerto Rico’s plebiscites, where no more than 5% have voted for independence in any status referendum.

Equis poll

Equis Labs conducted phone interviews with a total of 6,785 Hispanic voters in 11 states. They asked some specific questions about Puerto Rico of Puerto Rican voters in Florida, where Puerto Ricans make up one third of the voters.

The poll found that 46% of the respondents identified most strongly as Puerto Ricans, and one quarter said they identified primarily as Americans. This trend was strongest among recent arrivals in Florida — two thirds felt more Puerto Rican and just 14% felt more American. Of those who were born in a State, one third felt more American and 29% identified most strongly as Puerto Rican.

While respondents expressed a low level of support for President Trump on most questions, even numbers blamed Trump and Puerto Rico leaders for the delay of disaster rebuilding funds for the Island. 41% said “yes” to each of those statements.

Polls on status preference

The most recent YouGOV poll found exactly the same percentage of their respondents favored statehood for Puerto Rico: 57%. HarrisX found that 41% — the largest group in the poll — favored statehood for Puerto Rico. In a Gallup poll, 66% of respondents chose statehood. All of these polls asked Americans in general, regardless of their ethnic heritage.

Politico reported that 81% of Puerto Rican voters in Florida favored statehood earlier this year.

Voters in Puerto Rico were also polled over the summer, and 61% chose statehood as their preferred status option.

While the proportions vary, all recent polls show statehood significantly ahead of other options in Puerto Rico, among Puerto Rican voters in Florida, and across the nation.

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