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For Immediate Release

Contact

Democracy for All 2021 Action: Kelsey Moore, kmoore@fenton.com, 862-324-1213

Data for Progress: McKenzie Wilson, mckenzie@dataforprogress.org, 773-715-0169

Press Release

New Poll Shows Record-High Support for D.C. Statehood

Data for Progress and Democracy for All 2021 Action poll finds a majority of voters agree with making D.C. a state as H.R. 51 moves through the House.
WASHINGTON -

Today, new polling released by Data for Progress and Democracy for All 2021 Action finds record-high support for D.C. statehood, with 54% of voters saying they agree with making D.C. a state — the highest level of support documented to date. The poll’s findings come just before a critical hearing in the House on H.R. 51, a bill that would make Washington, D.C. a state.

Notably, voters from all over the country support D.C. statehood, with clear majorities of voters in urban (57%) and suburban (56%) areas, along with swing states (57%), agreeing  D.C. should be a state. About half of voters in rural America also agree. Support for statehood grows even higher across the political spectrum, geographies, age, and racial, gender, and education backgrounds when voters are presented with the injustice of taxation without representation faced by D.C. residents.

"The detailed polling on D.C. statehood by Data for Progress and Democracy for All 2021 Action definitely shows that the majority of the American people now support equal representation for the people who live in the nation's capital,” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). “The hearing and passage of H.R. 51 in June told Americans much of what many did not know, especially that D.C. residents pay the highest federal taxes per capita in the United States. We are looking forward to Monday's hearing and to finally achieving statehood and equal representation in Congress for the people of the nation's capital."

ADDITIONAL TAKEAWAYS FROM THE DATA FOR PROGRESS POLL:

  • The “taxation without representation” argument is most likely to generate support for D.C. statehood, including with large majorities of voters in urban (66%), suburban (57%), and rural (55%) America; as well as a majority of both men and women, college and non-college educated voters, younger and older voters, as well as Black and white voters.
  • A majority of voters still agree with D.C. statehood when it goes head-to-head with opponents’ argument that it amounts to a partisan “power grab.” Voters disagree with this argument and D.C. statehood retains majority support across all frames tested.
  • Democrats recognize that statehood for D.C. is a racial justice issue. 78% of Democrats support DC statehood when framed within the context of racial justice. Meanwhile, Republican opposition to statehood is most fierce when racial justice is brought up.

“For over two centuries, Washington D.C.’s lack of statehood has been rooted in white supremacy. When Black men gained the right to vote in 1867, Congress replaced the local, elected government with three white men commissioners. Since then, opposition to statehood has been driven by false dog-whistle arguments on the city’s ability to manage its own affairs,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “The people who elected President Biden and Democrats in Congress recognize that making D.C. a state is critical to the fight for racial justice and civil rights in this country. It’s high time to give a voice to the majority of Washingtonians who are people of color.”

Support for making Washington D.C. a state is growing after a year that saw multiple historic events — including the insurrection in the U.S. Capitol by a white supremacist mob and the inability for the District’s Mayor to deploy the National Guard — bring renewed visibility to conversations around D.C. statehood.

“Most voters support making Washington D.C. a state, and our elected leaders must follow the will of the people, plain and simple. More than 714,000 Washingtonians, including over 20,000 veterans of our armed forces, pay taxes but have no say in how their money is used by Congress, while Congress gets to dictate how we live our lives in the District of Columbia. A majority of Americans agree this cannot stand,” said Stasha Rhodes, Campaign Director of 51 for 51. “We call on Congress to prioritize D.C. statehood to realize a more inclusive and representative democracy.” 

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Data for Progress is a multidisciplinary group of experts using state-of-the-art techniques in data science to support progressive activists and causes.

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