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One poll predicted the Stitt blowout win. Here's what they say they did right.

KOKH – Oklahoma City 11/10/2022 Dan Snyder
© Provided by KOKH – Oklahoma City

Governor Stitt on Tuesday night earned a second term in office with a convincing win over Democratic challenger Joy Hofmeister. Stitt took the election 55.5-41.8, a far cry from public polling that showed a close race between the two in the month leading up to the election. 

Final data from Oklahoma-based Ascend Action showed Stitt leading by three points the day before Election Day. Amber Integrated, out of Oklahoma City, had Stitt with a slim one-point lead on November 2nd. And Sooner Poll, on October 17th, showed Hofmeister with a three-point edge. 

Caption: WPA1.1

But final numbers from WPA Intelligence, which also worked analytics for Stitt's 2022 campaign, nearly nailed the final spread perfectly. 

WPAi founder Chris Wilson told FOX 25 he never believed this race was close. 

"This race was never a dead heat. This race was never within the margin of error. And Joy Hofmeister was certainly never in the lead," said Wilson.

WPAi's final numbers, released on November 2, had Stitt winning by 13 points. The data had the governor winning almost all key demographics, minus Native Americans. 

Caption: Chris Wilson, founder of WPA Intelligence, breaks down their final polling in the Oklahoma Governor's race. (KOKH)

"The governor won several of the counties that he lost to Drew Edmondson that are in the McGirt areas and the tribal areas," said Wilson. "In fact, in our last poll, he was only down with Native Americans by 10 points. So a lot was made of 5 tribes endorsing Joy Hofmeister, but nothing was said about the other 32 that didn't. And it looks like their numbers bid into voting for Governor Stitt."

So how did WPAi get so close? Wilson pointed to his group's methodology when it looks at potential voters. 

"Analytics is a big part of it. And I will say that's a key part of what we do vs. what other firms do. We build a predictive model that is applied to every single registered voter in the state of Oklahoma. And someone's ability to be interviewed or not be interviewed is based on that score," said Wilson. "Presidential year's its easy. Everybody turns out, everybody votes. It's a lot easier to do surveys. But in an off-year, there are some real numbers that are pushed by the different campaigns that cause some people to vote and some people to not vote. And I think that probably was the biggest difference."

Caption: Chris Wilson, founder of WPA Intelligence, on why he believes their poll was so accurate. (KOKH)

Wilson also discussed possible biases against "internal" polling, or polling data that comes from inside campaigns. While some may not trust numbers that come from candidates, Wilson says there's a big incentive for pollsters inside campaigns to be right. 

"If I tell a candidate he's going to win and he loses, he's not going to be very happy with me. And you don't have the benefit of being wrong when you do this for a living," said Wilson. "So I look at internal polling as much different."

The polling industry has faced criticism since the 2016 Presidential Election, where Donald Trump shocked Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House. But Wilson says, overall, he thinks pollsters have been good in recent election cycles. 

"I think for the most part, my industry, over the last couple of cycles, obviously that wasn't the case with the governor's race in Oklahoma here, but in most cases has done a good job getting it right," said Wilson.

However, the WPAi founder did have some choice words for pollsters in this governor's race.

"Any polling firm that had Joy Hofmeister up should be looked at questionably in the future. Because that just wasn't the case," said Wilson.

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