More than a third of voters say they believe Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico should be granted statehood, according to a survey released Wednesday.
The Hill-HarrisX poll found that a plurality of voters, 36 percent, said both the district and the island territory should be granted U.S. statehood.
According to the survey, 11 percent of respondents said they support giving statehood only to Puerto Rico, compared with 9 percent who said they support giving statehood just to D.C.
Seventeen percent of those surveyed said they don’t believe either should be granted the status, while 27 percent voiced uncertainty on the issue.
Almost half of Democrats — 47 percent — said both Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico should be granted statehood; 37 percent of independent voters said the same.
Republican voters were less enthusiastic about granting statehood. According to the survey, 24 percent of Republican respondents said they believe Puerto Rico and D.C. should be granted statehood, while 26 percent said neither should.
Both D.C. and Puerto Rico have voted for statehood and introduced admission bills. Just last year, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricard Rosselló sent a letter to President Trump asking him to let the U.S. territory become the nation’s 51st state. Trump denied the request.
Puerto Ricans are considered natural-born U.S. citizens but cannot vote in presidential elections unless they relocate to one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. As a territory, Puerto Rico is awarded one nonvoting delegate in Congress.
D.C. residents have long advocated for statehood, arguing they lack full representation in Congress because they don’t have a voting member in the House or Senate. Still, D.C. residents took one step closer toward statehood after the House announced that it plans to hold a hearing on the issue later this month.
The movement toward statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico has been the subject of much debate among lawmakers.
Last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico is equivalent to “full-bore socialism.”
“They have planned to make the District of Columbia a state that would give them two new Democratic senators. Puerto Rico a state, that would give them two more new Democratic senators,” McConnell told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
“You’ve surely noticed that they plan to expand the Supreme Court. This is full-bore socialism on the march in the House,” he added.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) hit back that Trump’s comments make him proud to be a democratic socialist, a label the Democratic presidential candidate has recently embraced on the campaign trail.
“Mitch McConnell thinks that allowing the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to become states is ‘socialism.’ Well, that’s another reason why I’m a proud Democratic Socialist,” he tweeted.
The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted June 29-30 among 1,000 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
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