Results of a new national poll conducted by LA Times were released on July 20. The poll asked interviewees for whom they would vote if the Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton and the GOP nominated Donald Trump.
LA Times poll results
The results show that billionaire Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have the same level of support, each with 43.0% of the vote.
The poll was conducted between July 13 and July 19. The sample size was 1953 participants. There is a sampling error of +/-0.0 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
In general, however, you should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, because they may contain large errors. At least, one should check how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
In order to make the results comparable to forecasts from benchmark methods, one can convert them into shares of the two-party vote. The results of the actual poll mean 50.0 % for Clinton and 50.0 % for Trump concerning the two-party vote share. To compare: Only 49.4% was gained by Clinton in the LA Times poll on July 19, for Trump this result was 50.6%.
Results in comparison to other polls
In comparison to the average results of other polls Clinton performed worse with 2.1 percentage points, while Trump did better with 2.1 percentage points. This difference is outside the poll's margin of error, which suggests that the poll is an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The most recent PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 52.4% and Trump 47.6% of the two-party vote. Clinton has 2.4 percentage points less and Trump has 2.4 percentage points more when the results of the poll are compared to the combined PollyVote forecast. Again, a look at the poll's error margin shows that this difference is significant.