A podcast about what’s driving Montana’s 2020 elections and where the outcomes could lead us.

Equality of opportunity. The blessings of liberty. A clean and healthful environment. These are the values codified in Montana’s constitution, values candidates in the upcoming 2020 election say they’re most prepared to defend. But behind the political promises and rhetoric, there are actual policies up for debate. 

What do candidates mean when they stump about “Montana values?” Who is that promise for? And how do those unspoken values shape Montana’s politics?

From what it means to be a “real Montanan,” to voter access, to public land, to rugged individualism, Shared State will bridge history, politics, and the daily reality of Montanans as we approach a landmark election.

Shared State is hosted by The Write Question’s Sarah Aronson and is collaboratively reported and produced by Montana Free Press, Montana Public Radio and Yellowstone Public Radio.


Episode 10

Shared State

Ep. 10 — Where do we go from here?

In this final episode of Shared State: who won the election, what do the results say about Montana, and where are we headed?

Episode 9

Shared State

Ep. 9 — ‘For this and future generations’

John Adams tracks how influence, corruption and money have shaped Montana, from the Copper Kings to the Disclose Act to the ad YouTube just showed you.

Episode 8

Shared State

Ep. 8 — To secure the blessings of liberty

Differing perspectives on the meaning of ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ are competing for primacy as Montana struggles to implement public health measures and COVID-19 cases spike.

Episode 7

Shared State

Ep. 7 — Equality of opportunity

In 2020, there’s more uncertainty than ever about how to ensure we all have a say in this election. But in some ways, this uncertainty is nothing new. As long as Montana has held elections, there have been groups struggling to have their equal voices heard.

Episode 6

Shared State

Ep. 6 — Desiring to improve the quality of life

Pledging to bring Montana more “good-paying jobs” is a time-honored cliche for politicians on the campaign trail. But what can elected officials really do to expand economic opportunity for Montanans? And what concerns are Montanans weighing as they decide whether they can build the life they want here?

Episode 5

Shared State

Ep. 5 — The grandeur of our mountains and the vastness of our rolling plains

What do candidates mean when they say they’re “for access,” and does that political rhetoric match up with the issues Montanans are actually facing?

Episode 4

Shared State

Ep. 4 — The quiet beauty of our state

Yellowstone Public Radio reporter Rachel Cramer dives into events at the 1972 constitutional convention and how one aspect of our shared environment, public lands‚ is playing out in Montana’s U.S. Senate race.

Episode 3

Shared State

Ep. 3 — Grateful to God

In Montana’s 2020 race for governor, the candidates’ views on the intersection of religion and policy could have implications for some hot-button legislation.

Episode 2

Shared State

Ep. 2 — We the people of Montana

What is a “real Montanan,” and why does it matter so much in our politics?

Episode 1

Shared State

Ep. 1 — Preamble

Politicians are on the airwaves claiming how their candidacies best reflect “Montana values.” But behind the political promises and rhetoric, there are actual policies up for debate.

Trailer: Shared State podcast

A podcast about what’s driving Montana’s 2020 elections, and where the outcomes could lead us.

From exploring the meaning of “real Montanan” to voter access, public lands and rugged individualism, a new collaborative podcast series bridges history, politics and the daily reality of Montanans in the lead-up to a landmark election.