Reportajes en Profundidad

Plebiscite Boycott Fails to Seduce the Masses

El Nuevo Día
[email protected]

Among the participants of the El Nuevo Día Poll, a 72% of the electors registered to vote say would head to the polls next Sunday June 11th  to participate of the plebiscite promoted by the New Progressive Party (PNP, Spanish acronym), but which is boycotted by every other minority parties.

Among the interviewees, a 20% accepted that they will not vote or will abstain, a 7% mentioned that they are not sure what they will do on that day and 1% declined to answer.

This plebiscite, which is ordered by the Law for Immediate Decolonization of Puerto Rico, includes in the ballot three options for electors to choose: statehood, the current territorial status and the commonwealth or independence.

As expected, the greater enthusiasm to vote was shown by PNP members, with a 90% of intention to vote. The results of The Poll show an overwhelming backup from the PNP followers for the plebiscite proposed by governor Ricardo Rosellló. Only  8% of the New Progressives interviewed expressed they will not vote.

Meanwhile, among the Popular Democratic Party (PPD, Spanish acronym) members, 66% say they are going to vote on that day, despite that the party leadership has promoted the boycott. 27% of the populars interviewed said that they would not go to vote or will abstain and  6%, that they still dont know what they would do.

In the ranks of the minority parties, including the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP, Spanish acronym), which is also promoting the boycott, the 58% say that they would vote, a 34% that would abstain and another 8% that they do not know what they would do on that Sunday.

This result has large implications for PPD and PIP leaders, who must double their efforts during next week to promote their institutional position.

On the other hand, among the non-affiliated, a 39% say they will vote on the plebiscite on June 11th, against a 42% that will not. When the survey was conducted, 18% of that subgroup still did not have a clear notion of what their more probable actions would be on that day.

Looking for the 51st star

The results of The Poll widely favor Statehood, with a 52%. Followed, in parity, by the actual territorial status, with 17%, and the commonwealth or independence, with 15%.

A 9% said they would not vote and the 7% pointed out that they are still not sure of how they would vote or declined to answer.

The survey was conducted between the 24th and 26th of May of 2017, a little more than two weeks away from the consultation. The 1,000 participants that were part of the survey sample were asked how would they vote in the plebiscite if it were “today”. The results published in this edition were presented over a base of electors registered to vote in that consultation, composed by 966 participants, or 97% of the sample. This base has an margin error of plus or minus 3.2%.

The statehood formula dominates - by statistically more significant margins - among men and women, in all age ranges, geographic areas, levels of schooling, and annual family income level.

The differences are given by political affiliation, as was to be expected. In the case of PNP members, a vast majority of 93% would give their vote for statehood, compared with the 3% that would vote for the actual territorial status, a 2% that would favor the commonwealth or independence and a barely 2% that would not vote. In the case of the PNP members, there are no electors without a decision on how to vote.

Among the PPD ranks the story is different. 38% would favor the actual territorial status, over 34% that would choose the commonwealth or independence. The 6% would favor statehood and a 14% would not vote in this consultation.

While among the minority parties members, as well as the ones who still feel identified with the independent candidates Lúgaro and Cidre, 30% would vote for the commonwealth or independence, over a 24% that would favor the actual status. The 16% in this subgroup would vote for statehood and  21% say that they would not vote.

In the non-affiliated group, 27% would support the statehood and  26%, the actual territorial status. Another 18% would choose the free association or independence, while another 18% that would not vote.

Confident about voting

The results of The Poll can be analysed also among the electors registered and those that, also, say they will vote that day. This base of 691 participants, or 69% of the sample, which has an margin error of plus or minus 3.7%.

When analysing the results on this basis, the statehood gains prominence, with 66% of the votes, if the plebiscite were “today” when the survey was conducted  between May 24th and 26th  2017. The current territorial status would have 16% of the votes among electors registered that think they are going to vote in that consultation, over  15% for the commonwealth or independence. Barely 3% of this subgroup say that they are not sure how they would vote or declined to answer.

Statehood dominates in every geodemographic, scholarship and incomes variables when filtering the results by electors registered and voting decision criteria.

Among the PNP members, a 98% would support the statehood. Among PPD members, a 47% would choose the current territorial status, over a 40%, that would favor the commonwealth or independence.

In the case of minority parties affiliates,  44% would choose for the commonwealth or independence, 27% for the current status and  23% for statehood

 Among the non-affiliated, 39% would vote for statehood,  29% for current territorial status and  29% for the commonwealth or independence.