Puerto Rico primary results map

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

Today, Puerto Rico voted and Hillary Clinton won by a wide margin. However, this was not an ordinary contest. For one thing, Puerto Rico is not a state. For another, the traditional Republican and Democratic Parties of the mainland are very secondary presences. And finally, unlike the states, Puerto Rico is a completely Spanish-speaking territory.

These factors an others made for an interesting set of results. Here’s a map of Puerto Rico using the scale below with Clinton as Red and Obama as blue:



Puerto Rico ratio map (RGB)

If you’re wondering what the dark region is, that’s Naguabo, where there were an abnormally high number of blank ballots. The only municipality won by Obama was Culebra, which is the small archipelego to the east of the main island.

I also prepared a weighted version of the map on the same scale that I used for my last batch, with brighter areas having a higher voter density:

 Weighted map of Puerto Rico (RGB)

As you can see, unlike most of the mainland, Hillary Clinton’s stronghold was in the biggest urban area of the state: San Juan, the capital.

One of the more interesting dimensions of this race was shown in the CNN exit poll. Of the 59% who said that Puerto Rico should be a state, 81% voted for Clinton, while the vote split 50%-50% among those who thought that it should remain a commonwealth (territory).

So, I decided to see if this would be reflected geographically, by mapping the results of the 1998 plebecite, the most recent referendum on statehood. The options on that plebecite were:
Estado Libre Asociado “Territorial” – “Territorial” Commonwealth
Libre Asociación – Free Association
Independencia – Independence
Estadidad – Statehood
Ninguna de las anteriores – None of the above

Surprisingly enough, the winner was “Ninguna de las anteriores” (None of the above) with 50.3% of the vote. In close second was “Estadidad” (Statehood) with 46.5% of the vote, and in a distant third was Independencia (Independence) with 2.5% of the vote.

Because of the exit poll data, I thought that there might be a good correlation between the vote ratios for the Obama-Clinton race and the ratios of voters voting for statehood versus “None of the above”. However, looking at the map, the correlation isn’t clear:

1998 Plebecite map (RGB)

Now, the lack of clear correlation may simply be a product of the fact that many Puerto Ricans stayed home. The Democratic Party has a greater stronghold in Kansas than it does in Puerto Rico and despite the heavy media attention, not many people voted. Oregon, which holds 52 pledged delegates, had 1.6 times the turnout of Puerto Rico, which holds 55 pledged delegates.

I suspect that a good portion of the pro-commonwealth crowd stayed home. After all, why involve yourself with mainland presidential politics when you don’t favor the statehood that would allow you to vote in the general election?

Color swaps

Ratio map

Puerto Rico ratio map (RBG)Puerto Rico ratio map (GBR)Puerto Rico ratio map (GRB)Puerto Rico ratio map (GRB)Puerto Rico ratio map (BGR)

Weighted map

Weighted map of Puerto Rico (RBG)Weighted map of Puerto Rico (GBR)Weighted map of Puerto Rico (GRB)Weighted map of Puerto Rico (BRG)Weighted map of Puerto Rico (BGR)

Plebecite map

1998 Plebecite map (RBG)1998 Plebecite map (GBR)1998 Plebecite map (GRB)1998 Plebecite map (BRG)1998 Plebecite map (BRG)


About Meng Bomin

Real name Benjamin Main, I am a graduate of Grinnell College with a degree in Biological Chemistry.
This entry was posted in Current events, Maps, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Puerto Rico primary results map

  1. jim Petersen says:

    Thanks for mentioning Culebra’s vote in the P.R.
    primaries. The Culebra enigma is due to the
    high participation of passionate ex-pats and locals
    which represent a very independent thinking from
    the Big Island (Puerto Rico). Isla Culebra is 17 miles
    by sea from Puerto Rico and 15 from St. Thomas.

    Our sister Island Vieques received a lot of support
    and publicity in the states for its determination to
    eject the Navy a few years ago, Culebra did it in
    1975! Today Culebra remains underdeveloped by
    choice, incredible beaches and wildlife abound.

    Steadfast in its determination not to be overrun, yet
    progressive in this Global Warming conscious era.
    Home to a successful fish farm research project and
    a groundbreaking coral farm/restoration project, the
    main industry is guest house/parador tourism.

    As a former Central Iowa Mensa Chair/LocSec I have
    spent many wonderful nights at Grinnel college with
    the many members from Grinnell and great concerts
    at Herrick Chapel. Best wishes to all of you.

    Jim Petersen, Publisher, The Culebra Calendar

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s