Puerto Rico: What its six districts would look like if it were a state

I like to think of interesting topics for diaries and this is one that came to me. If Puerto Rico was a state it would have six seats. I looked at the census data, did a spreadsheet and filled in my map based on my calculations. I took a few guesses on splitting municipalities, so the deviations aren’t exact at all. It would be nice if this was made available on the Redistricting App if possible (obvious hint to Dave), so everyone could work with this just for hypotheticals.


Now, since Puerto Rico has no presidential vote, it’s hard to say how any of these districts would vote or how they’d lean. Since Puerto Rico has it’s own parties, I assume elections would be decided on issues relating to those parties and it doesn’t seem to heavily lean toward either of the main ones there. Many in the PPD align with Democrats, while the PNP has a mix of those who align with the US parties, with those leaning toward Republicans having the edge.


Mayaguez anchors this district. Looking at previous election results, the PPD  seems to do very well in and around Mayaguez, so it would probably lean PPD/Dem.


Ponce is the population center and leans PPD, but it also includes many of lower population density areas, which seem to lean PNP. I would guess it would be a toss-up.


Toa Alta and Toa Baja make up the biggest share of population here, both of which have PNP mayors and seem to vote PNP in most gubernatorial elections, which indicates a PNP lean for this district.


Bayamon is largest municipality and has a pronounced PNP lean, but PPD leaning Cauguas makes a up a good share of the district as well, which adds balance. It might be a toss-up or slight PNP lean.


The capital of San Juan anchors the district smallest in size. San Juan swings between both parties, with a slight edge to PPD. PPD leaning Carolina is also a portion of this district, which should equal a PPD edge overall for this district.


Has a portion of PPD leaning Carolina, but all the rest, save for Humacao, leans PNP. It doesn’t appear that there is a huge edge toward either side, so I’d all it a toss-up.

Overall, none of this analysis counts for much, as we have no idea how Puerto Rico would swing on a federal level. The island is socially conservative, but economically liberal in many aspects and that could be what determined a lot of voting patterns.

42 thoughts on “Puerto Rico: What its six districts would look like if it were a state”

  1. Two thoughts:

    1. Since the center of the island is mountainous and sparsely populated, I think it would make more sense to have the districts stretch east-west along the coast instead of north-south across the center. Kind of like how in WA and OR they avoid having districts cross the Cascades as much as possible.

    2. As for who they would end up sending to Congress, I think Northern Ireland is the best political analogue. That is to say that the local parties would continue to dominate local politics even for federal elections, and the PPD and PNP representatives would form their own caucuses rather than join the caucuses of the mainland parties.  

  2. I think keeping the San Juan Metro area (Bayamon, San Juan, Carolina, and Guynabo) together in one and possible two districts might be better for keeping communities of interest together.

  3. Some good suggestions from everybody. The 111th Congress actually came fairly close to passing a bill that would call a referendum (thought to favor statehood) in Puerto Rico, but the Senate didn’t have time to consider it before getting swamped with all the big “agenda” items.

    I’m not holding my breath, certainly, but I wouldn’t be stunned to see Puerto Rico become a state within 10-20 years, especially as Spanish becomes a de facto second language throughout the South, West, and urban centers in the continental U.S.

  4. http://latino.foxnews.com/lati

    Somehow this story slipped through the cracks late last month. If this ends up happening – and the PNP does hold the trifecta in Puerto Rico right now, and this has really been Gov. Fortuño’s driving issue as well as a potential boon to the PNP’s electoral chances next November, so my guess is that it will – and the U.S. accepts the results (enough Democrats are likely to support it because they enjoy strong support from Latinos stateside, enough Republicans are likely to support it as long as Fortuño or someone like him is in charge, and the Obama administration has strongly hinted that it will back the results of any popular referendum on Puerto Rico’s status), then Puerto Rico could be a state in time for the elections in 2016 or even 2014.

    This really is a big deal, and the relative dearth of media coverage is surprising. Here you have a PNP/Republican governor saying, “We’re going to have a two-part referendum,” a format that strongly favors a pro-statehood vote (which may not command majority support from Puerto Ricans, but it will crush independence and/or ill-defined “free association” in a head-to-head, and it will almost certainly beat out the unpopular status quo “commonwealth” option [which garnered an absolutely pathetic 0.06% of the vote in 1998] with no “none of the above” option on the ballot), and the territorial legislature is completely in his pocket.

    There is simply nothing I can see to stop this from happening aside from perhaps a court injunction, and guess what happened to the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico last year? The PNP successfully pushed through the creation of two new seats, to be filled by gubernatorial appointment. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would be proud.

  5. I live in Puerto Rico, and know that this island is extremely Democratic. There is a “Medicaid-like” health system. Even the PNP the supposed more conservative party still supports universal healthcare. The current governor is Republican but a very liberal one compared to the national Republican Party. When the 08′ Democratic primary came to Puerto Rico, people turned up in quite significant numbers. PR is poorer than any state in the U.S.A. with an average of fourteen thousand a year per person. There is a lot of welfare with only 40% of the able to work working. There is 17% unemployment.

    The only reason the Teapartiers and most of the Republicans are opposed to Puertorican statehood is because of poverty and thus the welfare policies in the island. They know that apart from being a net cost to the U.S., it also supports the Democratic Party in droves. It has to be noted that neither in the local channels (1-100) nor DirecTV, you can get Fox News in Puerto Rico.

  6. If Puerto Rico were to become a state, I would assume they’d increase the size of the House to 441, at least temporarily.  But what would happen if the increase was only until the next election or until 2021, when the House went back to 435.  What would that do to apportionment?  Which states would lose seats?

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