Democrats’ support for Washington D.C. statehood increases as Republican opposition jumps

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
March 31, 2021, 1:15 PM UTC

Democrats have grown increasingly enthused about the prospect of making Washington D.C. into its own state as more liberals have formed an opinion on the issue over the last few months, according to a new Yahoo New/YouGov poll

Support has increased 15-percentage points among Democrats since July 2020 (49% to 64%), as the number of those who were not sure about their stance fell 11-points (34% to 23%). In the same period, Democratic opposition to the measure fell from 17% to 13%. 

The new data comes as Democrats in Congress have begun hearings on a bill to turn Washington D.C. into the nation’s 51st state. If statehood was granted, Washington D.C. would be given Congressional representation with two Senators and one U.S. Representative. In recent history, residents of Washington D.C. have voted reliably in favor of Democratic presidential candidates, and Washington D.C. statehood is expected to give Democrats an edge in the US Senate.

Republican opposition to making Washington D.C. its own state has jumped 13-points since July 2020 (51% to 64%), suggesting that many conservatives have changed their minds about D.C. statehood in the last nine months — perhaps in part because their party no longer controls the White House and Senate. While the number of Republicans in favor of making the nation’s Capital the 51st state has dropped 10-points from 23% to 13%, the proportion of GOP supporters expressing uncertainty only dropped three points (23% to 26%) over the same period. 

Independents have remained relatively steady in their opinion of D.C. statehood — while uncertainty on this question has dropped six points (37% to 31%) since July, support has risen by four percentage points (28% to 32%).

A similar number of Independents continue to oppose (37%) making Washington D.C. its own state when compared to July (36%).

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Yahoo News/YouGov poll and compare to the July 2020 poll 

Methodology: The Yahoo! News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,556 U.S. adults interviewed online between March 23-25, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2020 Presidential vote (or non-vote), and voter registration status. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. adults. The margin of error (a 95% confidence interval) for the entire sample is approximately 2.7%. 

Image: Getty