Results of a new poll carried out by SuffolkSuffolk were announced on July 21. The poll asked interviewees from Ohio for whom they would vote if the Democratic Party nominated Hillary Clinton and the GOP nominated Donald Trump.
Ohio is traditionally a battleground state, where the Republican and Democratic candidates have historically won similar levels of support among voters. Therefore, the election outcome in that state is regarded crucial in determining who will win the majority of electoral votes.
SuffolkSuffolk poll results
The results show that former First Lady Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump can draw on equal levels of support, each with 44.0% of the vote.
This poll was conducted from July 18 to July 20, among a random sample of 500 likely voters. The error margin is +/-4.4 points. This means that the levels of voter support for both parties' candidates do not differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. Hence, a good strategy is to not be overly confident the results of an individual poll. At the very least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following comparison, we translate Clinton's and Trump's raw poll numbers 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.
Results vs. Other polls
In comparison to the average results of other polls Clinton performed worse with 0.4 percentage points, while Trump did better with 0.4 percentage points. This deviation is outside the poll's error margin, which suggests that the poll is an outlier.
The poll in comparison with PollyVote's forecast
The most recent PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 50.1% and Trump 49.9% of the two-party vote in Ohio. Clinton has 0.1 percentage points less and Trump has 0.1 percentage points more when the results of the poll are compared to the combined PollyVote forecast for Ohio. Again, a look at the poll's error margin suggests that this deviation is significant.