San Juan, PR (11/2/2008)
"It’s the economy, stupid," was a phrase in
American politics widely used during the
1992 presidential campaign. Apparently it has been adopted
by the residents of Puerto Rico. The economy seems to have
become the major concern for Puerto Ricans for the current year.
An October 2008 telephone poll of residents of the island showed
that 61% of respondents, 6 out of every ten consider the economy
the biggest problem facing Puerto Rico today. Crime and
Drugs was ranked the second issue in importance, picked by 16%
of those polled.
When asked to rate the present general business conditions in
their area a whooping 66% rated them as bad, 28% as normal with
only 4% rating them as good.
The so called “brain drain” continues to be a problem.
When asked if they had ever considered moving to the U.S.
mainland 44% answered in the affirmative, continuing a trend of
talented and well educated Puerto Ricans leaving in the island
in search of better living conditions.
In terms of status respondents are clearly looking for
maintaining close ties with the United States. According to the
poll, 79% of those interviewed answered that if given a choice
between statehood and independence they would vote for
statehood. If the U.S. Congress were to offer statehood to the
people of Puerto Rico, 76% would vote to accept statehood.
When asked about the importance of issues related to
status, U.S. citizenship was ranked by 89% of respondents as
very important, 88% consider both English and Spanish as
official languages very important and a vote for U.S. President
was ranked as very important by 77% of those interviewed.
The preferences of voters for the upcoming elections show that
the next four years may very well be Puerto Rico’s best chance
of moving the issue of self determination in Washington. In the
race for Governor 49% will vote for Resident Commissioner Luis
Fortu˝o (New Progressive Party or PNP for its Spanish acronym),
while 34% will vote for Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila (Popular
Democratic Party or PPD for its Spanish acronym), 9% for
newcomer Rogelio Figueroa (Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico Party
or PPR for its Spanish acronym), 3% for Economist Edwin Irizarry
Mora (Puerto Rican Independence Party or PIP) and 1% will write
in the name of Arecibo Senator Pedro Rossello, while 4%
See what Puerto Rico resident have to say about the economy,
healthcare, taxes and other issues.
View the entire poll here.
(The telephone survey, the latest Puerto Rico Herald poll to be
done on economic, social, status and current issues, involved
1,000 residents throughout the island and has a margin of error
of +/- 3%.)