Economist published the results of a new national poll on July 20. 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.
Economist poll results
The results show that 45.0% of participants said that they would give their vote to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whereas 41.0% intend to vote for businessman Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from July 15 to July 17 among 925 participants. The sampling error is +/-4.5 points. This means that the levels of voter support for Clinton and Trump do not differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. Thus, as a general rule, don't rely too much on the results of a single poll. At least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
In order to make the results comparable to forecasts from benchmark methods, you can convert them into shares of the two-party vote. This procedure yields values of 52.3% for Clinton and 47.7% for Trump. To compare: Only 51.1% was obtained by Clinton in the Economist poll on July 14, for Trump this number was 48.9%.
Results vs. Other polls
Clinton is currently at 52.1% of the two-party vote according to an average of recent polls. Compared to her numbers in the Economist poll Clinton's poll average is 0.2 percentage points lower. This deviation is within the poll's sampling error, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
The poll compared with PollyVote's prediction
The current PollyVote foresees Clinton to gain 52.4% of the two-party vote. This means that Polly's prediction is 0.1 points above her polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is thus within the poll's margin of error.