Registered voters split on whether Washington, D.C. should gain statehood

Linley SandersData Journalist
June 26, 2020, 8:20 PM UTC

On Friday, the House of Representatives voted to grant statehood to Washington, D.C. The bill represents the first time that either chamber of Congress has passed legislation to make the District of Columbia its own state.

Despite strong support from the Democrat-led chamber, a YouGov snap poll indicates that registered voters are split on whether Washington, D.C should be granted separate statehood (40%) or remain a federal district (41%). Three in 10 registered voters that took part in the snap poll said they (30%) are strongly opposed to the idea, while a quarter (25%) are strongly in favor. 

The House proposal would tighten the boundaries of the nation's capital around key government buildings, including The White House, Capitol Building, and Supreme Court Building. The remainder of Washington, D.C would become the nation’s 51st state with its own Congressional representation. This move would add two Senators to the US Senate and one Representative to the House. 

The proposal is unlikely to pass in the Republican-held Senate and has already been rejected by White House advisers. On Wednesday, the White House issued a statement expressing opposition to the House bill, saying it, “would create an opportunity for a new State of Washington, D.C to dominate the capital and render those who meet there beholden to its interests, rather than the interests of the Nation as a whole.” If it did pass the Senate, the president’s advisers “would recommend that he veto the bill.” 

President Donald Trump has previously rejected the idea as foolhardy for Republicans, telling The New York Post in May that, “DC will never be a state. You mean District of Columbia, a state? Why? So we can have two more Democratic — Democrat senators and ... congressmen? No thank you. That’ll never happen.” 

One-third of registered voters (37%) tend to agree that DC statehood would benefit Democrats over Republicans. Just one in 20 (5%) believes that Republicans would benefit over Democrats. Three in 10 registered voters believe that the District’s statehood would benefit both major political parties equally.  

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MethodologyThis article is based on a flash poll of 1,200 registered voters surveyed via YouGov Direct on June 26, 2020 between 12:15 p.m. and 1:31 p.m. This YouGov Direct Poll was weighted according to age, gender, race, education, and 2016 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±3.9% 

Image: Getty