According to a poll conducted by Data for Progress and the progressive advocacy coalition Democracy for All 2021 Action and shared first with CBS News, 54% of likely voters think Washington, D.C. should be a state. 74% of Democratic respondents approve of statehood for D.C. Little more than a third (34%) of Republicans also support it. Urban voters (57%) and suburban voters (56%) clearly support it, as well as 57% of voters who live in swing states.
The poll comes nearly two months after Senate Democrats reintroduced a bill that would give D.C. statehood.
The bill, first introduced in 2013, was reintroduced by a group of senators led by Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.).
“This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue; it’s an American issue because the lack of fair representation for D.C. residents is clearly inconsistent with the values on which this country was founded,” Carper said in a statement.
Washington, D.C. is home to more than 700,000 residents––that’s more than the states of Wyoming and Vermont. But D.C. lacks representation in Congress; those who oppose a statehood measure believe it would only advance the Democratic Party’s interests, guaranteeing it two seats on Capitol Hill. Some also say the move would violate the 23rd Amendment, which allows D.C. residents to vote in presidential elections but gives them as much say as the residents of the “least populous State.”
Talk about D.C. statehood has persisted for years, however. Last year, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) criticized the possibility as a “bad deal” for South Carolina that would dilute its power in the Senate.
“This is about expanding the Senate map to accommodate the most radical agenda that I’ve ever seen since I’ve been up here,” Graham said.
Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents D.C. as a non-voting delegate, was one of the people who reintroduced the statehood measure.
“This now has captured the majority of American voters, which makes us believe that the watchword, ‘taxation without representation,’ is on its way out,” she told CBS News in an interview, voicing her continued support for the measure and her pleasure with the poll’s results.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.