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Montana Poll Examines ERA Knowledge, Marijuana Legalization, Data Regulations

UM News Service

The latest iteration of the University 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 percent 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 percent answered “no.” The “yes” response from Montanans increased slightly from the 2019 Big Sky Poll, when 51 percent 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?” Ninety-two percent of respondents answered “yes,” compared to 5 percent 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 percent 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.

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