Puerto Rican voters have similar political view on and off the island: Poll

A new poll of Puerto Rican voters found striking similarities in most political positions among respondents who live in the U.S. territory and the millions of Puerto Ricans on the mainland.

The survey, conducted by progressive pollster Izq Strategies for La Brega y Fuerza, a project to increase the diaspora’s civic engagement, found that both groups of Puerto Ricans generally aligned with more progressive policies.

Seventy percent of island-based respondents support Green New Deal policies, as do 66 percent of those in the diaspora.

Residents of Puerto Rico overwhelmingly support Medicare for all: 81 percent said they’d like to see the program expanded, and 70 percent of diaspora respondents agreed.

But island residents take a more conservative approach to abortion access — only 47 percent said they support abortion access, while 37 percent said they oppose it.

Puerto Ricans who live in the mainland United States are more liberal on that issue, with 59 percent supporting abortion access.

A 2007 Pew Research survey had found that 77 percent of respondents on the island opposed abortion rights, as did 50 percent of respondents in the diaspora.

In the new poll, both on and off the island, majorities support a binding plebiscite to determine the territory’s political status. Among island-based voters, 63 percent said they support such a plebiscite, as do 56 percent of diaspora voters.

Though the poll had relatively small samples — 675 respondents with a 4 percentage point margin of error in the diaspora and 362 respondents on the island with a 6 percentage point margin of error — the results show remarkable consistency in policy choices among the two groups.

Puerto Rican voters are heavily represented in states including Florida, Illinois and New York, and they are expected to play an important role in deciding the winners in at least one battleground state, Pennsylvania.

—Updated at 1:43 p.m.

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