11 Takeaways About POLITICO’s Poll of Puerto Rican Voters in Florida

Apr 5, 2019
3:25 PM

This week, POLITICO commissioned a poll of likely 2020 voters of Puerto Rican descent who live in Florida. Conducted by ALG Research, the poll was the basis of a new POLITICO story, “As 2020 nears, Puerto Rico statehood looms large in Florida.”

Here are 10 takeaways from the poll that we found to be interesting and worthy of more debate:

1. 42% of Puerto Rican voters in Florida are “not at all committed to either party.” Are you listening, Democrats?

2. Trump’s unfavorable rating is really high: 69%. But who are the 21% who still like him?

3. Among fellow members of the House, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has the highest favorability rating. AOC, however, also has the highest unfavorables. But still: AOC is more popular in Florida than Rep. Darren Soto of Kissimmee, Florida.

4. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott have pretty solid favorability ratings. But, they also have pretty high unfavorable numbers too. Scott is doing better than Rubio, and Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló has a lower favorable than Scott and a lower unfavorable too.

5. Close to 80% of voters would support statehood, “if the United States Congress” offered it to Puerto Rico. The question is not exactly a “do you favor statehood for Puerto Rico” question, but it is still something to analyze and consider. However, it is important to note that since 2016 (pre-Hurricane María), support for this question has decreased. Also, it’s clear that 97% of voters want 2020 candidates who commit to the “economic recovery and well-being of Puerto Ricans” in Puerto Rico.

6. 71% of Puerto Rican voters in Florida strongly believe that island politicians’ corruption and incompetence are a big cause of the current crisis. But they also believe that congressional neglect is to blame. Essentially, this poll just confirms what our founder has been saying all along, as this 21015 column explains. Sidenote: the poll also noted that just 54% of voters thought the island’s lack of political and equal rights were to blame for the crisis. That is a high number, but not as high as the ones against local politicians and Congress.

7. 34% of Puerto Rican voters in Florida don’t think the island’s commonwealth (colony) status “is the underlying cause” for Puerto Rico’s current crisis. In other words, there are plenty of people who still like to defend their colony?

8. The poll asked A LOT of questions about statehood. Is “independence” not a word that people can be asked about? For example, question 18 could have easily been a statehood-independence question.

9. Yes, there are still a LOT of questions about statehood. In this series of responses, the statehood issue for DC movement is combined with the one for PR statehood. The questions are also limited to Democrats. Are we seeing a sneak peek of the Democrats’ platform here?

10. The vast majority of Puerto Rican Florida voters favor a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants (“if they follow laws and pay taxes”). But still, 28% don’t? That is a high number. By the way, who chose “BOTH” or “NEITHER?”

11. The respondents in the poll are more English-dominant, are NOT new arrivals, are older and lean Democratic. In fact, just 5% of respondents have been in Florida for less than five years, with 56% of respondents having lived in the mainland U.S. for more than 10 years and 28% having live on the U.S. mainland all their life. How reflective is this respondent pool? (That’s a serious question.)

This poll, as with any other polls, needs to be dissected and discussed. We also hope that pollsters keep doing more work in this community.

PS How did this poll NOT ask a question about Carmen Yulín Cruz?