The University of Montana Big Sky Poll recently asked participants “What is the highest number of U.S. Representatives that Montana has ever had?” Only 39% of respondents answered correctly with two. Although Montana currently has an at-large congressional district that represents the entire state, Montana had two districts from 1913 to 1993.
Montana could regain a second congressional seat as a result of the 2020 census. The 2020 census in Montana will begin in February 2020. The census not only determines congressional representation, it also determines state-level funding for 300 federal programs, including allocations for Medicaid, highway construction, school lunches and Head Start.
Census data also will be used in redistricting to draw lines that link representatives to their constituents for the next 10 years. If Montana gains another congressional seat, the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission will meet to divide the state into two districts. The results of the 2020 census will be released in early 2021.
The UM Big Sky Poll was conducted online between Sept. 26 to Oct. 3 with 303 randomly selected Montana registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 5.63 percentage points at a 95% confidence level. 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.