Poll: Plurality of Americans Would Support D.C. Statehood if Backed by Residents

Because the nation’s inception, residents of Washington, D.C. haven’t had congressional illustration.

A brand new ballot reveals {that a} plurality of People would assist making Washington, D.C. the 51st U.S. state if its residents voted in favor of the measure.

An Economist/YouGov poll published earlier this week requested respondents whether or not they would again D.C. statehood if it was supported by the district’s residents. A plurality (41 %) mentioned they’d assist the thought, whereas simply over a 3rd (36 %) mentioned they’d oppose it. Almost 1 / 4 of People (23 %) have been not sure.

According to the U.S. Constitution, D.C. is a federal district and due to this fact not entitled to congressional illustration. (It does have one non-voting delegate, Democratic Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton.) An modification to the Structure in 1961 allowed residents to vote in presidential races, however in any other case, the district’s residents are taxed with out federal illustration.

The Home of Representatives handed a proposal in April 2021 that will have granted D.C. statehood, permitting a big portion of the district to turn into a state whereas holding elements (similar to Congress, the White Home, the Supreme Court docket constructing, and nationwide monuments) below federal management. (The structure requires that there’s a federal district, however when it comes to its dimension only stipulates that it cannot be greater than 10 square miles.)

The text of that legislation would have renamed the district to honor abolitionist Fredrick Douglass quite than Christopher Columbus, admitting the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, into the U.S. “on an equal footing with the opposite States in all respects no matter.” This may have given the state two U.S. senators and a single consultant till the 2030 Census, at which period the quantity may improve attributable to inhabitants dimension, in comparison with the remainder of the nation.

The invoice handed the Home with none GOP assist, however confronted troublesome odds within the Senate, the place Republicans may use a filibuster to dam its passage. Sen. Joe Manchin, a right-wing Democrat from West Virginia, additionally signaled his opposition to granting D.C. statehood, successfully killing the invoice. As a result of Republicans shall be taking on the Home within the subsequent congressional session, the prospects of Democrats reintroducing the invoice are slim.

Republicans are largely against D.C. statehood for political causes, because the district has voted for the Democratic candidate in each presidential election since its residents were granted the right to vote. Notably, the district additionally has a higher percentage of non-white residents than the remainder of the nation, on common, as 45.8 % of D.C. residents are Black, 11.5 % are Latinx, and solely 37.3 % are white, based on the newest Census statistics.

Whereas the district has voted blue in each presidential race, not each elector from D.C. has voted for a Democrat. In 2000, a “faithless elector” — an individual who’s designated to serve within the Electoral Faculty however whose vote doesn’t signify the need of their constituents — abstained from voting in protest of the district’s lack of congressional representation.

The overwhelming majority of Washington, D.C. residents assist statehood. In 2016, the district held a non-binding referendum on whether or not statehood ought to be thought of. Greater than 78 % of voters mentioned “sure,” whereas round 13 % — lower than one in seven voters — mentioned “no.”