Results of a new national poll conducted by Rasmussen and commissioned by Reuters were published on July 21. The poll asked respondents for whom they would vote if the Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton and the Republicans nominated Donald Trump.
Rasmussen poll results
Of those who responded, 42.0% said that they intend to vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whereas 43.0% indicated that they would give their vote to billionaire Donald Trump.
The poll was carried out from July 18 to July 19 among 1000 participants. If one takes into account the poll's sampling error of +/-1.0 percentage points, the results reflect a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, you should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, as they often incorporate large errors. At least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following analysis, we convert Trump's and Clinton's raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. The resulting figures are 49.4% for Clinton and 50.6% for Trump. For comparison: Only 45.7% was obtained by Clinton in the Rasmussen poll on July 14, for Trump this result was 54.3%.
Comparison to other polls
Trump currently achieves 48.1% of the major two-party vote in an average of recent polls. This value is 2.5 percentage points lower than his respective numbers in the Rasmussen poll. This margin is outside the poll's sampling error, which means that the poll is an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The current PollyVote foresees Trump to gain 47.6% of the two-party vote. That is, Polly's forecast is 3.0 points below his polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's error margin suggests that this deviation is significant.