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I intend to revisit the subject of D.C. voting rights soon, but I wanted to take a quick sidebar and post up some congressional maps of Puerto Rico. If the island territory were admitted to the Union, as it very well may be pending the results of a two-question referendum set to appear on Puerto Rico residents' November ballots, it would have five congressional districts. I wanted to draw what they might look like.

This analysis won't be very in-depth. For most of my other redistricting ventures, I've had election data to work with; for the rest, I've had enough knowledge of local voting patterns to at least not sound like a total idiot in discussing my thoughts on each district.

So, this diary will be a quick read. Enjoy.

Here we are, five congressional districts for Puerto Rico. (Do you think it will be called "Puerto Rico" no matter what? I like "Boriquen" better, I think. Oh well.) If Puerto Rico becomes the 51st state mid-decade, Congress could either decide to add five new voting members to the House until 2022, add five new voting members to the House permanently, or require states with congressional districts apportioned 431st through 435th to eliminate a seat in a mandatory mid-decade round of redistricting. I'm not sure what they would do, and I won't deal with that in this analysis.

PR-01 (blue) is anchored by San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, and Guaynabo, perhaps the capital's wealthiest and most developed suburb and the location of the resident commissioner's residence. The incumbent here would be Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, a PNP member who caucuses with the Democratic Party in the U.S. House of Representatives.

PR-02 (green) is anchored by Carolina, the third largest city in Puerto Rico and the site of the island's major international airport. It extends across the eastern part of Puerto Rico.

PR-03 (purple) is anchored by Bayamón, the second largest city in Puerto Rico. This district covers a lot of the San Juan metropolitan area's western suburbs, which I understand to be somewhat poorer and grittier than the likes of Guaynabo and Carolina.

PR-04 (red) is anchored by Ponce, the most populous Puerto Rican city outside the San Juan metropolitan area and the metropolis for the southern plain of the island. The district respects the community of interest of its region as well as possible, though it steals the Mayagüez suburb of Hormigueros in the west to make population.

PR-05 (yellow) is anchored by Mayagüez, a college town on the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico in the east and the Dominican Republic in the west. It also extends deep into the heart of the island along the spine of the Central Mountain Range, as well as taking up the rest of Puerto Rico's populous northern coast.

I wish I had more to tell y'all, but it's really hard to say how party politics shake out in Puerto Rico if it becomes a state, and Pierluisi is the only congressional incumbent here to mention. Maybe someone who knows more than me about Puerto Rican politics can give his or her thoughts as to who might run where, which party might be favored in which district, etc. I would like to avoid this diary becoming a forum for discussing Puerto Rico's prospects for statehood; as much as I enjoy the topic, we do that a lot elsewhere.

Thoughts?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

    by SaoMagnifico on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 03:35:08 PM PST

  •  I've been following PR politics (0+ / 0-)

    for some time, and I have no idea. Party politics are organized almost solely on the political status question. What I can guess is that Democrats would be far more likely to organize on the island; 388,000 people voted in the Democratic primary in 2008, and Republicans only held a caucus. Plus I imagine Puerto Ricans would balk at "English as official language", even though English is widely spoken.

    As for the name, I would want it to remain Puerto Rico. What does Boriquen mean anyway?

    23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut

    by HoosierD42 on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 04:15:49 PM PST

  •  It will catch residents of the other 50 states (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geoneb, Tiger in BlueDenver

    mostly unawares if PR is to become a state... I presume many will claim it is a diabolical plan (rising from POTUS being foreign-born) to dilute the nation...or something.

    'Give away to the rich and punish the poor for the extravagance.....crazy' --LaFeminista

    by MsGrin on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 04:26:17 PM PST

  •  absurd (0+ / 0-)

    political parties in puerto rico are organized on the political future of the island and the political movements too, you might as well figure out which states of mexico or  venezuela are republican or democrat, it is absurd to figure that out.

  •  I wonder how long it will be before Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    act to bar Puerto Rico from becoming a state. Fear of an electoral gain for democrats.

    •  In 2008, the party platform adopted in St. Paul... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoosierD42, MinnesotaTwins, jncca

      Stated that the Republican Party supported Puerto Rico's right to self-determination. The most pro-statehood president in U.S. history was a Republican, President Gerald Ford. The current governor of Puerto Rico leading the charge on statehood,  Gov. Luis Fortuño, is a Republican.

      Reversing their position on self-determination would be political suicide for the Republican Party. It would not only be at odds with any number of United Nations statutes, but it would alienate Latinos in a cataclysmic way. It would effectively lock in Florida for the Democratic Party for a generation or more.

      Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 05:09:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think party politics would shape up like this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaoMagnifico

    If Puerto Rico were to come into the national fold, whatever party got on the right side of local issues would be the top party. Like other islands in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico has been very populist and Democrats could take advantage of that.

    25, Male, CA-24, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

    by DrPhillips on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 05:36:35 PM PST

    •  I tend to agree (0+ / 0-)

      A big x-factor here would be immigration to Puerto Rico - by Puerto Ricans living on the mainland, by non-Puerto Ricans living on the mainland, by citizens of Caribbean nations and territories who want to live in a U.S. state.

      Guam is going to be experiencing an influx of non-Chamorros as a result of an expansion of its military base this decade. It will be instructive to see how the Guamanian experience compares if Puerto Rico becomes a state and the same thing happens there.

      Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 06:13:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How is it possible that (as so many say) (0+ / 0-)

    The parties in PR organize themselves solely on the statehood question?  Don't the same parties elect legislators?  Are votes in the legislature uncorrelated with party membership?

    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

    by Xenocrypt on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 05:37:37 PM PST

  •  when it comes to future parties (0+ / 0-)

    wouldn't it be Democrats and not-Democrats? so the not-Democrats could focus on issues where PR and the Democrats aren't totally in-line, and the Dems could accuse the not-Dems of being too close to the Republicans.

    The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

    by RBH on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 05:56:13 PM PST

  •  My understanding is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaoMagnifico, KingofSpades

    The PPD is affilated with the Democrats, and pretty much center-left down the line.

    The PNP is around 50/50 Republican/Democrat.  Both factions are more socially conservative than the PPD, but on economics, the Democratic-leaning faction isn't that different from the PPD.  

    My guess is if statehood happened, the two parties would both fold.  Ironically, given it's curently the dominant party, the PNP would probably fold first, given its primary objective would be reached.  Still, the PPD's reason to exist would also be gone.  So you'd end up with around a 75% Democratic, 25% Republican split.  In the end, I expect that the local Republicans would become a bit more heterodox to become more than an afterthought, but the Democrats would probably remain 2/3rds favorites.  

    •  Resident Commissioner Pierluisi (PNP)... (0+ / 0-)

      Co-sponsored DADT repeal back in 2009, it's worth noting. So the PNP does have at least a somewhat socially liberal wing.

      Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 09:16:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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