Some conservatives fear that Puerto Rico will vote Democrat, and hesitate to support Puerto Rico statehood for this reason. In fact, as the recent decision on gay marriage in Puerto Rico demonstrates, Puerto Rico tends to be conservative.
While only 18 states now ban same-sex marriage, Puerto Rico made history by upholding their ban. District Court Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez ruled last week that a 1972 court decision made same-sex marriage bans legal. In his decision, Judge Perez-Giminez made it clear that he was making a conservative decision:
Traditional marriage is the fundamental unit of the political order, and ultimately the very survival of the political order depends upon the procreative potential embodied in traditional marriage. Those are the well-tested, well-proven principles on which we have relied for centuries.
This was not an isolated decision by a single judge. Thousands marched against gay marriage last year, and Puerto Rico’s Democrats are not the socially liberal thinkers with whom the mainland Democrats find support.
A recent poll of Puerto Rican voters in Central Florida showed this clearly. Not only did the majority identify themselves as conservative (regardless of the party they chose to identify with), but were most likely to support candidates holding conservative positions. For these questions, respondents were asked to say on a scale of 1 (least likely) to 10 (most likely) how likely they were to support candidates with these positions:
Republicans must make sure that the difference between Democratic and Republican parties are clear to Puerto Rican voters. Then Puerto Rico can take its place as the next red state.