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Americans Split On Controversial Figure Skating Decision

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ADELINA SOTNIKOVA
Adelina Sotnikova of Russia skates during the Figure Skating Exhibition Gala on Day 15 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Iceberg Skating Palace on Feb. 22, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. | Matthew Stockman via Getty Images

Figure skating fans -- and Americans on the whole -- are split on whether the outcome of last week's Olympic women's figure skating competition was fair or unfair, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Of those who watched the competition, 39 percent believe the outcome of the competition to be fair, while 39 percent believe it to be unfair. Twenty-two percent of respondents are not sure.

The poll comes amid widespread controversy over the judging of the competition, which many argue was biased in favor in favor of Adelina Sotnikova, the Russian skater who ultimately won gold.

Overall, the poll found that 20 percent of Americans -- regardless of whether or not they watched -- view the figure skating outcome as fair, while 23 percent view it as unfair. Fifty-seven percent of respondents are not sure. Only one-third of the poll’s respondents professed to having watched the figure skating competition.

While Americans tended to say they don't know enough about the judging systems of either figure skating or other judged Olympic sports to tell if those systems are fair, two other such sports generated less controversy.

American's opinion on figure skating's judging system reflected their opinion on the outcome of the women's figure skating competition, with 25 percent saying the system is fair and 22 percent saying it's not fair.

But when asked about the fairness of the Olympic ski jumping competition, 31 percent of respondents said they view the judging as fair, while only 5 percent view it as unfair. When the same question was asked regarding slopestyle snowboarding, 29 percent said they view the judging as fair, while only 6 percent said they view it as unfair.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Feb. 21-22 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance. The poll has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling.

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