Montana Poll Examines ERA Knowledge, Marijuana Legalization, Data Regulations

February 28, 2020

MISSOULA – The latest iteration of the University of Montana Big Sky Poll probed voters’ knowledge of the Equal Rights Amendment and opinions about marijuana legalization and data regulations.

Each edition of the UM poll includes a Montana trivia question. Montanans were asked this question: “To date, 38 states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. To the best of your knowledge, is Montana one of the 38 states that has ratified the ERA?”

Thirty-one percent of respondents answered correctly with “yes.” On Jan. 25, 1974, Montana became the 32nd state to ratify the ERA, a constitutional amendment that guarantees legal gender equality for men and women. Nine percent of respondents answered incorrectly with “no,” while 60% of respondents said “don’t know.”

Respondents also were asked, “Do you think recreational marijuana should be legal in Montana?” Fifty-four percent of respondents answered “yes,” and 37% answered “no.” The “yes” response from Montanans increased slightly from the 2019 Big Sky Poll, when 51% supported legalization.

When asked, “In your opinion, should internet users be able to ask for the data a company has collected about them and who the data has been sold to?” 92% of respondents answered “yes,” compared to 5% responding “no.”

The UM Big Sky Poll was conducted online Feb. 12-22 with 498 randomly selected likely Montana voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.39 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

The poll is directed by UM Associate Professor Sara Rinfret, chair of the Department of Public Administration and Policy; UM marketing Associate Professor Justin Angle; and four graduate students from UM’s public administration, law and business analytics programs.

The survey was commissioned with support from UM’s Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, the Baucus Institute’s Department of Public Administration and Policy, and the Social Science Research Laboratory. 

Use of poll findings requires attribution to UM Big Sky Poll. Full results from the poll are available on the UM Big Sky Poll website at http://umt.edu/bigskypoll.

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Contact: Dr. Sara Rinfret, associate professor and chair, UM Department of Public Administration and Policy, 406-243-4702, sara.rinfret@umontana.edu.