WASHINGTON (AP) – Voters in the nation’s capital will decide next week whether they want their city to become the nation’s 51st state.
The referendum backed by Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to pass easily. But even staunch statehood supporters say they’re not sure of the path forward.
The referendum doesn’t address the partisan politics that make statehood a near-impossibility. Few, if any, congressional Republicans would ever support giving two U.S. senators to a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 12-to-1.
Still, Bowser argues the time is right for a statehood push. She says the city needs to be ready for a new Congress that might be more sympathetic to the cause. And she says more people are talking about the issue, now that the city has crafted a new proposed state constitution.