A current (February 28, 2017) opinion poll clearly indicates stark division between the Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) leftist faction that favors statehood and the Partido Popular Democrático that prefers to remain a commonwealth.
What a difference a day makes (or a couple decades). Nearly 20 years ago while engaged in a construction project west of Ponce, one faction advocated statehood (comparable to Republicans) while another (comparable to Democrats) advocated independence from the U.S. – either option was in the hands of the voters of Puerto Rico. Pro-statehood voters affixed this bumper sticker to their rear bumpers.
The caption translates, “It’s your flag, too.” Around the Caribbean coastal areas were numerous political signs demanding the U.S. Navy leave Puerto Rico saying in Spanish, “Get out of Vieques, Navy”.
It appears the liberal party now pushes for statehood in order to capture more federal money for welfare programs and the ability to sway elections toward liberal Democrats on the mainland.
Where do most Puertorriqueño live? Approximately twice as many live in New York and Florida than live in the commonwealth. All who are residents of a state can vote because all Puertorriqueño are U.S. citizens by birth.
Puertorriqueños demanded the U.S. Navy leave the commonwealth and it did, along with its huge contribution to the economy of Puerto Rico.
For one term, a Republican governor labored to cut the size of a bloated commonwealth government, but the welfare addicts ultimately had their day and liberal regained control.
Personally, I oppose statehood until such time the commonwealth of Puerto Rico demonstrates sound fiscal policy by cutting spending. Dramatically.
Demand statehood, Governor? Really? How about you EARN it.