If you're looking for one of the best places to live in Montana and you're looking for a city or town which coincides with your political views, you'll be happy to know that Montana is a bit more diverse than you might think. Montana is a red state and has voted conservatively, and thus Republican, in the presidential race for every race since 1968, with the exception of 1992. Even so, there are pockets of Democrats within the state that will make you feel right at home, if you are indeed a Democrat. Democrats may enjoy living in eclectic Missoula, Montana, while Republicans may prefer Pinesdale, Montana. Let's look at towns and cities for both Democrats and Republicans.

Thinking Blue in a Red State

If you're a Democrat, you're likely to find Montana the bastion of conservatism. Even so, there are some staunchly blue areas within Montana. Visiting the Montana Secretary of State website can give you an idea as to how people voted in areas that you may be considering. In the 2012 election, county by county almost all of Montana voted for the Republican candidate, with the exception of eight counties. These counties include Missoula, Deer Lodge, Silver Bow, Glacier, Hill, Blaine, Roosevelt, and Bighorn. Much of this depended on the demographics of the local population. For example, Missoula tends to be liberal because it is a college town, and is one of the major cities in Montana.

Missoula

They have a saying in Montana that Montana starts 30 miles in any direction outside of Missoula. While the comment might be a bit disparaging, it really does highlight some of the differences between Missoula and the rest of the state. Missoula is naturally quirky and it's not uncommon to see bumper sticker saying "Keep Missoula Weird." It's not uncommon to see people riding bicycles to go hunting, walking around in Scottish kilts, going to various festivals that promote diversity, and dressed for whatever outdoors activity you care to name while at work. Missoula has an amazing number of farmers markets and organic food stores. You can ride your bike, walk, or use public transportation if you live within Missoula city limits to get nearly anywhere. The mayor, John Engen, is staunchly Democrat, as are most of the city council members. Because the University of Montana calls this town home, it has plenty of liberal influences. While there are plenty of conservatives in Missoula and in Missoula County, you are unlikely to get into uncomfortable conversations, because most people are easy going. If you do get into an argument, you're likely to be at one of the many local brew-pubs, or at Liquid Planet, one of the best places for coffee, tea, soda, wine, or beer. You can easily reduce tensions just by buying another round of drinks. Butte

Butte sits in the heart of Silver Bow County and prides itself both on individualism and being a working class town. Butte was once considered the richest hill on earth since it provided silver, and later, copper, building wealth for mining moguls such as Marcus Daly, and at one time providing more than 26 percent of the world's copper. Because of its incredible riches, Butte attracted miners and fortune seekers, thus having a fairly diverse population for Montana. Bozeman

Like Missoula, Bozeman, Montana is home to a college: Montana State University. Bozeman is close to Yellowstone National Park and is home to Montana State University. The Bridger Mountains are well known for their lofty views, technical climbs, and of course, ski resorts. Many notable celebrities own homes in and around Bozeman, so you just might see the likes of Michael Keaton, Kiefer Sutherland, and Ted Turner around Bozeman.

Red State Rules

When it comes to Republican and conservatism, you pretty much can't go wrong with anywhere in Montana. The state is a red state, and even in blue towns, you're more likely to find conservatives. Pinesdale, Montana and Ravalli County A popular place to live for Republicans is Ravalli County, and in particular, Pinesdale, Montana. Ravalli is part of the Bitterroot Valley, which was the location of the movie "A River Runs through It." The Bitterroot Valley is well-known for its magnificent views of the Bitterroot Range and the Sapphire Range. Much of the Bitterroot Valley is farm and ranch country. Notable towns within this valley include Hamilton, Stevensville, Florence, Corvallis, and Victor. Pinesdale, Montana's population as of 2013 was 922 people. Pinesdale is primarily a bedroom community, but it's views are hard to match, as is the general lay of the land. The Bitterroot has many amenities, including farmers markets, organic food stores, local brewpubs, and other attractions. Even so, it's less than an hour to drive to Missoula if you want to experience the city life. Much of Ravalli County's County commissioners are Republican. So even though Pinesdale is a sleepy little town, chances are you'll find like-minded folks in any of the more notable towns in the Bitterroot. Hamilton

Hamilton, Montana sits in the middle of the Bitterroot and is the county seat for Ravalli county. It is primarily a farming and ranching community with ties to tourism, hunting, and fishing. You can't beat the views, and if you're a Republican, you're likely to find people there who will agree with your beliefs.

Kalispell

Kalispell and nearby Whitefish are just outside of the Flathead Reservation and boasts amazing views of the Mission Mountains. Kalispell is pretty much the gateway to Glacier National Park. Kalispell and Whitefish also have access to Flathead Lake, one of the biggest lakes in North America. The Flathead Valley is also well known for its sweet cherries that are awesome summertime treat at local farmers markets. Other organic foods include potatoes, kale, lettuce, carrots, onions, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches, apricots, plums, green beans, specialty wax beans, heirloom tomatoes, tomatillos, flour, barley, kohlrabi, cabbage, brussels sprouts, fennel, herbs, and just about any heirloom vegetable.

Helena

Don't be fooled into thinking that because Helena is the state capital of Montana that it would be liberal. Far from it. Like Butte, it started as a mining town but did not go through the same tribulations that Butte did. Because Helena became the state capital, it didn't dwindle when the gold ran our of Last Chance Gulch -- the place where gold was first discovered in 1864. It has a population of just over 28,000 residents and is surrounded by mountains. Expect to see ranchers, business people, farmers, and service people in this town, as well as tourists, hunters, and vacationers.


People moved to Montana for a number of reasons including the wilderness, national parks, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, snow sports, and other outdoor activities. You'll find that wherever you go in Montana, you'll discover friendly people who are more concerned with day-to-day living than political affiliations.