Despite three previous polls showing a virtual tie between gubernatorial candidates Fred DuVal and Doug Ducey, the latest poll puts Ducey up 10 percentage points on DuVal.
This latest poll from the New York Times, CBS News, and YouGov shows 47 percent of the voters picking the Republican Ducey, and 37 percent opting for the Democrat DuVal. The same polling outfit's results released just a month ago had Ducey up just 1 percentage point on DuVal.
On social media and elsewhere, some Democrats have been discounting the methodology used by YouGov, which utilizes online polling techniques.
"If that poll was accurate, the [Republican Governors Association] wouldn't have spent $700K here attacking Fred this week," DuVal spokesman Geoff Vetter tells New Times. "Participants in YouGov's surveys are self-selected and compensated for participating, and they're allowed to 'vote' multiple times."
The methodology employed by YouGov are much more organized than a simple online poll, and its website touts certain measures to prevent abuse:
To discourage duplicate responses, visitors to the YouGov survey system are "cookied" so that repeat visitors can be detected and discarded from the sample. (Users can delete cookies from their system, but only 3 percent of YouGov panelists who have taken a previous survey in the past 90 days have done so.)
In addition, interviews were discarded if one of the following conditions occurred:
- More than 50% of the questions were skipped. (Respondents were allowed to skip any question except for age and voter registration, though most respondents answered all or nearly all of the questions.)
- Interviews that were completed in less than four minutes.
- Respondents who said their birth year was prior to 1915 or after 1996.
- Respondents who did not provide an address (so we were unable to determine their congressional district) and other information required for estimation and weighting (except for education, which was imputed).
Ducey's spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to New Times' request for comment.
For what it's worth, YouGov earned a grade of "C+" in the pollster ratings from Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com. The other two pollsters who have previously shown a tighter race, Public Policy Polling and Rasmussen Reports, were only graded a bit better, with a "B-" and "C," respectively.
That said, the YouGov poll also included some other public-opinion polling from Arizona, which you can find on the following page:
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