|Pres. Obama with 51-star flag favored by many Puerto Ricans|
The point here is that the state of Puerto Rico isn't necessarily going to vote Democratic. Many Latinos are conservative on social issues, and thus vote Republican. The current governor of the island, Luis Fortuño, is a Republican.
One crafty GOP strategy would be to advocate statehood (and grab Latino votes nationwide) by evoking the Lincoln-esque notion that the US should not have any second-class citizens. The talking points would go like this: Puerto Ricans fight in American wars, but they cannot vote for the commander-in-chief. While Luis Fortuño could run for President of the United States, he cannot, by law, vote for himself. This is the kind of injustice Republicans fought and died for 150 years ago. Alas, today, they seem quite happy to ignore the plight of second-class citizens in Puerto Rico—and prefer to let Democrats take the high road on this issue. Regardless of which party carries the ball, the goal should be statehood OR independence. The middle ground—of second-class citizenship—isn't the American way.