Puerto Ricans like to say that politics is the national sport, and who could argue with that? With a participation rate hovering near 80% and campaigning that features elaborate floats, loud music, and a carnival atmosphere, election day on the island comes off like a mix between Super Bowl Sunday and Mardi Gras. So when the results came in this week that a majority island voters had selected the statehood option on this year's plebiscite, it would seem to be an unprecedented, game-changing event.
After all, in two of the three previous plebiscites, Commonwealth--the current status, which supporters call "free associated state" and detractors call "colony,"--was the clear winner. When the dust cleared and the 2012 tally was in, the numbers were striking: 61.2% of 1.8 million voters said they were in favor of statehood! The world would hold its breath to see if Congress could allow a 51st star would be added to Old Glory.