Puerto Rico would be a “swing state” if given statehood, according to a recent statement made from Governor Ricardo “Ricky” Rosselló.

The comments seemed to contrast Republican fears Puerto Rico would go to the Democrats

Rosselló had been speaking at POLITICO’s annual State Solutions Conference when the statement had been made. Reportedly, the comment was inspired by congressional Republicans who would believe the statehood of Puerto Rico would be giving the Democrats a state.

Referring to the commonwealth as being socially conservative, he explained that Puerto Rico's history when it came to electoral behavior suggested that the people are likely to switch sides whenever they "don’t like something." He also suggested that Puerto Ricans have historically been on good terms with Republican presidents, such as George H.W.

Bush and Ronald Reagan, who had both supported Puerto Rican statehood.

History has proven that states can go against what is expected of them

He had also added that similar threats of giving statehood to areas feared to be a political maneuver have proved to be unfounded. Hawaii was expected to be a solid Republican area when it entered statehood. This was proven untrue, as the state has normally been known to support Democratic candidates within the presidential election, only supporting the Republican party in Democrats in 1972 and 1984. Likewise, Alaska was thought to have been a Democratic area when it entered statehood, and this has also proven untrue as Alaska has supported the Republican candidate in every election since achieving statement expect in 1964.

Added to that, Alaska became heavily tied to the Republican party after the state’s governor Sara Palin was chosen to become John McCain's running mate and potential vice president, during the 2008 election.

In addition to serving as the current governor, Rosselló is also the President of the New Progressive Party, which advocates for the statehood of the commonwealth.

Puerto Rico will have a fifth status referendum this upcoming spring, on June 11, 2017. However, congressional approval is need for the commonwealth to become the 51st state.

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