Should the District of Columbia be its own state? A new Gallup poll finds that 64 percent of Americans say no.
In a survey, more than half of participants across every category — gender, race, age group, education level, political party and ideology — said they would oppose the move to grant statehood to nation’s capital city.
Democrats and people identifying ideologically as “liberal” were less likely to oppose the idea. Fifty-one percent of Democrats and 50 percent of “liberal” people said they wouldn’t be in favor of the idea.
Meanwhile, of Republicans and those identifying as “conservative,” 78 percent were opposed.
The numbers are consistent with previous polls, according to Gallup. A Yankelovich/Clancy/Shulman poll from 1992 found that 57 percent of people opposed Washington statehood, and a Washington Post poll from 1989 found that 52 percent did.
What would Washington statehood mean?
The issue of Washington statehood is a politically fraught one, as adding the capital as the 51st state would probably mean increased Democratic representation in Congress.
Every 2020 Democratic nominee has come out in favor of Washington statehood, and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the statehood proposal on July 24. The proposed legislation has over 200 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats.
But the prospects of the bill are dim. The legislation would have to be approved by the Oversight Committee, as well as the House and the Republican-controlled Senate. It would then have to pass President Donald Trump.
In an interview with Fox News last month, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke out against Washington statehood, grouping it with what he called the Democrats’ “full-bore socialism.”
Why does Washington want to be a state?
Washington has been rallying to be a state for years now, as residents argue they lack full representation. Since 2000, the city’s license plates have even borne a familiar saying: “Taxation without Representation.”
According to 2018 data from the US Census Bureau, Washington’s population outnumbers both Wyoming and Vermont.
But despite its large population, Washington has no voting representatives in the House or the Senate. The city does select one delegate to the House, but that delegate has no voting privileges on the House floor. He or she may only debate and vote in committees.