Big Sky Poll finds support for legal immigration, racial diversity in Montana

Education level and view on increasing the number of people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities in the U.S. (Big Sky Poll)

More than half of Montanans believe racial and ethnic diversity make the nation a better place to live, though 9 percent believe otherwise, according to a Big Sky Poll released Thursday by the University of Montana.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents said it doesn’t matter either way.

The survey, commissioned with support from the university’s Social Science Research Laboratory, found Montanans were 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 said it should be harder.

By gender, 57 percent of women said it should be easier to legally immigrate to the U.S, while just 49 percent of men agreed.

The poll was conducted by telephone in mid August with 618 randomly selected registered voters across Montana. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.