UM Big Sky Poll: Montanans Split on Immigration

October 11, 2018

MISSOULA – Fifty-three percent of Montanans think an increasing number of people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities in the United States makes the country a better place to live, according to results from the University of Montana’s Big Sky Poll.

Nine percent of voters answered that this would make it a worse place to live, and 38 percent stated it does not matter either way.

However, Montanans are more divided on legal immigration. Fifty-two percent of Montanans believe it should be easier to legally immigrate to the United States, while 48 percent stated it should be more difficult. Fifty-seven percent of women in the sample believe it should be easier to legally immigrate to the United States, and less than half of the men in the sample (49 percent) believe it should be easier.

The UM Big Sky Poll was conducted via telephone Aug. 13-31, with 618 randomly selected registered voters in the state of Montana. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. Use of poll findings requires attribution to the UM Big Sky Poll.

The poll collects and reports information about Montanans’ perceptions of local, state and federal issues. The Big Sky Poll is led by Sara Rinfret, director of UM’s Master in Public Administration Program, and Justin Angle, UM associate professor of marketing, in conjunction with eight seminar students from UM’s MPA and Business Analytics programs. 

The survey was commissioned with support from UM’s Social Science Research Laboratory. The UM Big Sky Poll will be conducted on an ongoing basis, with its next iteration in Spring 2019.

Full results from the poll can found on the UM Big Sky Poll website at http://umt.edu/bigskypoll.

 
Table 1: Do you think having an increasing number of people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities in the United States makes this country a better place to live, a worse place to live or doesn’t make much difference either way?

Better place to live

53%

Worse place to live

9%

Doesn’t make much difference either way

38%

 

 

Table 2: Education level and view on increasing number of people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities in the United States

 

Some High School

High School/GED

Some college

Associate degree

Bachelor’s degree

Post-Baccalaureate

Better place to live

33%

 

32%

50%

49%

59%

75%

Worse place to live

44%

16%

13%

8%

5%

2%

Doesn’t make much difference either way

22%

52%

37%

43%

36%

23%

 
 

Table 3: Party identification and view on increasing number of people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities in the United States

 

Democrat

Independent

Republican

Better place to live

86%

49%

26%

Worse place to live

1%

10%

19%

Doesn’t make much difference either way

14%

41%

55%

 


Table 4: Gender and view on increasing number of people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities in the United States

 

Woman (Female)

Man (Male)

Better place to live

60%

48%

Worse place to live

6%

10%

Doesn’t make a difference either way

34%

42%

 

 

Table 5: Age and view on increasing number of people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities in the United States

 

 

18-26

27-46

47-66

67 or Older

Better place to live

61%

56%

53%

51%

Worse place to live

56%

2%

10%

13%

Doesn’t make a difference either way

39%

42%

37%

37%

 

 

Table 6: In general, do you think it should be harder or easier for individuals to legally immigrate to the United States?

 

Harder

48%

Easier

52%

 

Table 7: Education level and view on the difficulty legally immigrating to the United States

 

 

Some High School

High School/GED

Some college

Associate degree

Bachelor’s degree

Post-Baccalaureate

Harder

100%

63%

47%

55%

38%

32%

Easier

0%

37%

53%

45%

62%

68%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 8: Party identification and view on the difficulty legally immigrating to the United States

 

 

Democrat

Independent

Republican

Harder

18%

48%

76%

Easier

82%

52%

24%

 

 

 

 

 

Table 9: Gender and view on the difficulty legally immigrating to the United States

 

 

Woman (Female)

Man (Male)

Harder

43%

51%

Easier

57%

49%

 

 

 

 

 

Table 10: Age and view on the difficulty legally immigrating to the United States  

 

 

18-26

27-46

47-66

67 or Older

Harder

24%

38%

52%

53%

Easier

76%

62%

48%

47%


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Contact: Sara Rinfret, director, UM Master in Public Administration Program, 406-243-4702, sara.rinfret@mso.umt.edu.