changes to democracy

Should Puerto Rico be granted statehood?

Yes

Yes, supports

Mike Bloomberg (Dropped out)

Former New York mayor

Bloomberg is no longer running for president. Bloomberg “believes Puerto Rico should have full statehood. He believes that Puerto Ricans residing on the island should no longer be treated as second-class citizens, and should be afforded all the rights and support provided to all other American citizens. It is time we answered the call for equity and provide equal justice to all Americans,” his campaign website said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg

John Delaney (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney is no longer running for president. Delaney supports statehood for Puerto Rico, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio supports statehood for Puerto Rico, he told The Post.

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Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. "I’ve always supported statehood for Puerto Rico and D.C. People have got to have representation — 700,000 people in the District of Columbia is as large as Wyoming," Inslee told Vox.

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Jay Inslee
Inslee

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. Moulton’s campaign website calls for “giving all Americans representation by granting statehood to Puerto Rico and D.C.”

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Seth Moulton
Moulton

Beto O'Rourke (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke is no longer running for president. “The people of Puerto Rico rightly demand that the United States government hear their voices,” a campaign spokesman told The Post. “[O’Rourke] supports the timely resolution of Puerto Rico’s political status by ensuring that the federal government acts in accordance with the democratically expressed will of the people of Puerto Rico, whether by an up or down vote on statehood or otherwise.”

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Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Marianne Williamson (Dropped out)

Author

Williamson is no longer running for president. Williamson supports statehood for Puerto Rico, she told The Post.

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang (Dropped out)

Tech entrepreneur

Yang is no longer running for president. The platform on Yang's campaign site backs Puerto Rican statehood, saying "Puerto Ricans overwhelmingly want to be a state, and we should endorse this and make it happen."

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Andrew Yang
Yang

Let them decide

Let them decide

Michael Bennet (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet is no longer running for president. Bennet supports allowing Puerto Ricans to choose whether they want to join the union, he told The Post.

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

Cory Booker (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is no longer running for president. Booker supports allowing Puerto Ricans to choose whether they want to join the union.

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Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “This decision should be left to Puerto Ricans to decide,” Bullock told The Post. “I support the right of Puerto Rico’s residents to decide for themselves their future relationship with the United States.”

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Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg (Dropped out)

Former mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg is no longer running for president. "If they want it," Buttigieg told the Intercept.

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro (Dropped out)

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro is no longer running for president. Castro tweeted support for a variety of voting changes in March, including "self-determination for Puerto Rico."

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Julian Castro
Castro

Tulsi Gabbard (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard is no longer running for president. In 2015, Gabbard co-sponsored the Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Process Act to allow for a vote on the island's admission as a state.

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. Gillibrand supports allowing Puerto Ricans to choose whether they want to join the union.

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Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. Hickenlooper supports allowing Puerto Ricans to choose whether they want to join the union, he told The Post.

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John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Amy Klobuchar (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is no longer running for president. Klobuchar supports allowing Puerto Ricans to choose whether they want to join the union, she told The Post.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Deval Patrick (Dropped out)

Former governor, Massachusetts

Patrick is no longer running for president. “If the people of Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico wish to pursue formal statehood, they will have that chance during a Patrick administration and will be welcomed as states,” his democracy agenda said.

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Deval Patrick
Patrick

Tim Ryan (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan is no longer running for president. In 2015, Ryan co-sponsored the Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Process Act to allow for a vote on the island's admission as a state.

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Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders is no longer running for president. "I support the right of the people of Puerto Rico to decide their own future and governance," Sanders told The Post.

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. Sestak supports allowing Puerto Ricans to choose whether they want to join the union, he told The Post.

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Joe Sestak
Sestak

Tom Steyer (Dropped out)

Billionaire activist

Steyer is no longer running for president. “I support allowing Puerto Ricans to choose whether they want to join the union,” he told The Post.

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Tom Steyer
Steyer

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “Yes, if that’s the will of the people living there,” Swalwell told The Post.

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Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren is no longer running for president. "Puerto Rico has a right to determine the nature of its association with the United States and I will support the decision of the people of Puerto Rico," Warren told The Post.

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Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Joe Biden

Former vice president

"I have always found Puerto Rico's current political status as something very bizarre. My word of advice to you, and all Puerto Ricans, is that you continue to fight hard until you reach your goal of equality, and we shall act," Biden said in 2015, according to the Orlando Sentinel. His campaign had not returned answers by May 7.

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Joe Biden
Biden

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris did not provide an answer to this question.

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Kamala Harris
Harris

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Background Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) in March released legislation to make Puerto Rico, an island territory of the United States for more than a century, the 51st state in America. Puerto Rico elects a non-voting member of the U.S. House, but it does not have two senators or a vote in U.S. presidential general elections. (Puerto Rico does vote in both parties’ presidential primaries.) The island has been in an economic recession and debt crisis for more than a decade, and faces uneven support from the federal government.

Statehood is a divisive issue in Puerto Rico, although the former governor was an adamant supporter of making the island the 51st state. A 2017 referendum on the statehood question was overwhelmingly approved but boycotted and derided as illegitimate by those in Puerto Rico opposed to statehood.

How candidate positions were compiled

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether it supports various changes to the Senate filibuster, U.S. elections and courts. Candidates with similar stances were organized into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town hall meetings and other news reports. See something we missed? Let us know.

This page will update as we learn more about the candidates’ plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president. If a candidate dropped out after a question was published here, their stance is included under the "Show former candidates" option. If they dropped out before a question was first published, the Post did not reach out to get their stance.

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Candidate illustrations by Ben Kirchner.