Skip to main content
ABC News
Exit poll hints at a big Clinton win in Puerto Rico?

According to CNN’s Bill Schneider, 72 percent of Hillary Clinton’s voters in Puerto Rico favored statehood, while 23 percent favored maintaining commonwealth status. By contrast, 57 percent of Obama’s supporters favored commonwealth status while 34 percent favored statehood.

A Nuevo Dia poll conducted earlier this month suggested that 57 percent of Puerto Ricans favor statehood and 34 percent commonwealth status. If those numbers accurately reflect the preferences of the electorate in today’s primary, we can plug those numbers into a simultaneous equations solver to get an estimate of each candidate’s vote. That happens to work out to Clinton 63, Obama 34, a 29-point victory for Hillary.

However, these numbers are extremely sensitive to the relative preferences for statehood and commonwealth status. For example, if we plug in the results of the November 2007 Nuevo Dia poll, which showed commonwealth status leading statehood 45-43, the equation solver instead works out to a big Obama win.

So, I don’t know quite what to make out of all of this — but we could be looking at a big Clinton win in Puerto Rico.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.