The Daily Westerner reports today that as Puerto Ricans prepare to vote next month on whether to become the United States’ 51st state, concerns about their devastated economy and their political leanings are being raised. According to the report, Puerto Rico has been in a deep recession for over 10 years and has declared bankruptcy due to $123 billion worth of debt and pension obligations. Also, 46 percent of the population lives in poverty and more than 1 out of 10 are unemployed.
In addition to the economic strains the US will inherit, the island would become the 30th largest state and have more political power than 21 other states. In last year’s elections, almost 60,000 votes were cast for the Democratic caucuses compared to just over 36,000 votes cast for Republicans. Peurto Rico’s voting tendencies could place two new Democrats in the Senate and four or five Democrats in the House of Representatives.
TDW report found here.