Reuters published the results of a new national poll on July 7. In this poll, interviewees were asked for whom they would vote if Hillary Clinton were the Democratic Party's candidate and Donald Trump were the Republican Party's candidate.
Reuters poll results
Of those who responded, 44.0% said that they plan to vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while 33.0% declared that they would give their vote to billionaire Donald Trump.
The poll was in the field between July 2 and July 6. The sample size was 1345 participants. The error margin is +/-2.8 points, which means that the levels of voter support for Trump and Clinton differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. Thus, as a general rule, a good strategy is to not focus too much on the results of an individual poll. Instead of trusting the results from single polls, the best practice scientific advice is to look at combined polls or, even better, a combined forecast that draws upon different methods and data.
For the following comparison, we convert Clinton's and Trump's raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. This yields figures of 57.1% for Clinton and 42.9% for Trump. For comparison: Only 56.8% was gained by Clinton in the Reuters poll on June 30, for Trump this result was 43.2%.
Results compared to other polls
An average of recent polls sees Clinton at 52.7% of the two-party vote. In comparison to her numbers in the Reuters poll Clinton's poll average is 4.4 percentage points lower. This deviation is outside the poll's margin of error, which suggests that the poll is an outlier.
The poll compared with PollyVote's prediction
The latest PollyVote forecasts Clinton to gain 52.6% of the two-party vote. Hence, Polly's prediction is 4.5 points below her polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's margin of error suggests that this deviation is significant.