What would happen to Puerto Rico's political parties if it became the 51st state? Is there any historical precedent for what happens?

  • 2
    Political parties are private organizations. So, officially/legally, nothing will happen (in practice, they may naturally change/get created/disappear as the issues facing the population will change. E.g. every member of one party may quit and join newly formed PR state Libertarian party that will form and win all elections on "free tokes for everyone" platform).
    – user4012
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 13:14
  • 1
    We can't really predict what happens in the future. As for past precedents, it won't exactly be relevant since it's been quite a while since Alaska and Hawaii were admitted into the Union in 1959 and each territory's politics differ.
    – Panda
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


They would almost certainly fold into the national parties. It would be very difficult to remain independent once national politics come into play.

Puerto Rico would gain a House seat and two Senators. Candidates would take major party funding to campaign (thus assuring they caucus with that party). Those politicians would likely then draw their political party counterparts to the national parties (which already closely mirror mainland US parties), where political funding and organization would be far more than local politics would raise. On the local level some PR parties would remain, but it would be harder for them not to nationalize against opponents who have already done so.

  • Iowa and Puerto Rico have a similar population at 3 million and Iowa has 4 representatives. I would assume Puerto Rico would likely get 4 too. Commented Jan 20, 2022 at 21:01

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