The Real Numbers: Puerto Rico

puerto rico

This article was initially written by John Laurits on his blog.  I wanted to share it here because not all of my followers here are my followers on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Greetings, my friends! Today, I’d like to take a look at our numbers in Puerto Rico, whose June 5th primary is fast approaching. I have high hopes that Puerto Rico will be joining our political revolution but, unlike the talking heads, I’m going to explain to you why I think that & show you the numbers that support what I’m saying.

So — what are the numbers?

First off, here’s one very good thing — Puerto Rico was originally going to hold aclosed caucus but, as of March 8th, 2016, Puerto Rico has changed its planand there will now be an open primary! (which is good because that means that anyone can vote for Sanders, regardless of which party they are registered with)

Now — on to the numbers.

Puerto Rico is home to 3.5 million American citizens and there are 60 pledged delegates at stake on June 5th.

Unfortunately, there is very little polling data from Puerto Rico. The only actual poll that I could find was conducted from late-March to early-April, which showed Clinton leading Sanders 63-33%, though it also showed that Sanders was viewed favorably by 62%. They surveyed 477 registered voters, with a margin of error at ±4.5% — though, with 2 months between the poll and the primary on June 5th, I doubt that any of its numbers have remained stable.

Polls aren’t the only numbers that can be useful, however — I took a look at Puerto Rico’s exit-poll data from the 2008 democratic primaries and there seem to be a few promising numbers. First of all, 93% of voters in Puerto Rico said that candidates’ visits to the island were important — indeed, a full 78% rated visits as “very important.” As far as I can tell, the last time Hillary Clinton visited Puerto Rico wason September 4th, 2015. I also couldn’t find any scheduled campaign events in Puerto Rico before the June 5th primary (though, she has a lot of fundraisers between now and then).

Bernie Sanders, however, has visited the U.S. territory 3 times over the course of the primaries — most recently on May 16thThe exit-poll data, along with recent surveys of Puerto Rican immigrants living in Florida, shows thataround 90% of Puerto Ricans strongly support Puerto Rico’s status being resolved — in other words, they don’t want to be treated like a colony, anymore. Bernie Sanders, so far, is the only candidate who has had the chutzpah to say it.

It is unacceptable for the United States government to treat Puerto Rico like a colony
-Bernie Sanders

“To have a candidate for president finally admit that Puerto Rico is a colony is historic,” said Phillip Arroyo, the former chair of the Young Democrats of America’s Hispanic Caucus and a Puerto Rican living in Florida.

64% think that Puerto Rico should become the 51st state and another 27% said they would prefer that Puerto Rico becomes an independent country. Sanders has said that, in his first year as president, he would allow Puerto Ricans to vote on which path to take and that he would accept the Puerto Rican voters’ decision.

In addition to Sanders’ visits to Puerto Rico and the wide popularity of his radical stances toward the island’s status, Clinton recently lost several high-profile Puerto Rican endorsements — including both the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín, and Pedro Julio Serrano, a prominent Puerto Rican activist.

To Sum It All Up

Considering all of the information above, I believe there is good reason to feel optimistic about our chances in Puerto Rico’s open primary — but, in the meantime, do not forget to donate and phonebank! It’s just a bit further, my friends — we must not get lazy, not now, not when we’ve come so far, not when so much is at stake! It may be a rough landing but we can do it if we continue to stand with Bernie and with each other!

I’d also like to announce that, thanks to the continuing success (so far) ofmy new “gofundme” for the new People’s Math Front, I now have the assistance of two dedicated researchers who are assisting me in my research and collection of data! This is allowing me to spend more time crunching numbers & writing these articles! For this reason, you can expect more frequent updates (like this one) — yay!

I will write to you all again, soon — about the Judgment Day numbers for the June 7th primaries, about the updated delegate math, & about the many different marches & demonstrations in July. 

In solidarity,
John Laurits #SeeYouInPhilly

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