Rosselló winning in New Progressive gubernatorial primary
In the race for the gubernatorial nomination of the New Progressive Party, Ricardo Rosselló has a strong lead going into the primary on June 5 according to the May edition of our 2016 Elections Puerto Rico poll. The professor and biomedical engineer passed resident commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, taking 63.39% of support from respondents in our survey.
Rosselló’s lead also extends in terms of favorability, where among NPP affiliated registered voters, he holds a mostly favorably view by more than three to one margin. Pierluisi lags with little more than half of respondents indicating they had a favorable view of him, and a worrisome almost 40% holding a negative view of the former attorney general.
Where things get tricky however, is in the question of party loyalty. While most of Rosselló’s supporters would support Pierluisi in the general election, a majority of Pierluisi’s supporters would abandon the party, with a significant portion of those selection no candidate, or indicating they were still on the ropes. These results show the brutal effect the campaign has had. If Rosselló indeed does prevail on Sunday, he has his work cut out for him in terms of repairing relations with the sector of the party that did not support him.
Across all age groups save for one, Rosselló wins. Interestingly, and contrary to what you might expect, Pierluisi has the edge in the 17-24 category. Now, our results come from a rather small sample size, but it is interesting to have this kind of result. It could be an outlier, but on the other hand, Rosselló’s largest advantages came from the 45+ crowd, indicating there is an age gap between supporters of the two candidates.
Our poll obtained a rather even split in the gender question, with Rosselló prevailing among both female and male voters. Both candidates seemed to divide their support evenly between females and males, pointing to an nonexistence of a gender gap among their supporters.
Education wise, Rosselló seems to dominate among those that have university level education. Pierluisi claimed a small edge among voters reporting lacking a high school diploma, but the data is too small to draw a definitive conclusion.
In terms of demographics, the results we obtained in May are rather consistent with the March-April results, despite what we strongly suspect was, the strong skew of that poll.
All things considered, whatever the outcome of the primary, a much closer result can be possible. That said, historically, former governor Luis Fortuño defeated Ricardo Rosselló’s father, former governor Pedro Roselló in 2008 with nearly 60% of the votes, a similar figure to what we obtained. However, the bases of support have intermingled between the candidates, with many party leaders who supported Fortuño in 2008 now supporting Rosselló, and viceversa, but supporting Pierluisi.
Other polls had the race tied, which it very well could be, with the deciding factor being those that are more loosely affiliated with the NPP, and might decide in these few days whether to vote in the primary, as Pierluisi is pushing for.
Personally, I am skeptical of a result as pronounced as this one, but this is the data as we obtained it. For your entertainment, we provide an extended report of the results of the questions highlighted above, so dig in and keep busy until Sunday when we find out who the NPP nominee for governor will be.
Extended Results & Analysis
For an extended look at the results, including data analysis and corrections based on voter behavior, download the questions results: