On July 23, LA Times released the results of a new national poll, in which respondents were asked for whom they would vote if the nominees were Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Donald Trump for the Republican Party.
LA Times poll results
Of those who answered the question, 42.0% said that they intend to vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, whereas 44.0% said that they would give their vote to billionaire Donald Trump.
The poll was in the field between July 16 and July 22. The sample size was 2083 participants. Taking into account the poll's sampling error of +/-2.2 percentage points, the results reflect a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, don't have too much faith in the results of single polls, since they often contain large errors. At least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following comparison, we convert the candidates' raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. This procedure results in figures of 48.8% for Clinton and 51.2% for Trump. For comparison: 50.0% was gained by Clinton in the LA Times poll on July 20, for Trump this number was only 50.0%.
Results in comparison to other polls
If we look at an average of polls, Trump's two-party vote share is currently at 48.2%. Relative to his numbers in the LA Times poll Trump's poll average is 3.0 percentage points lower. This difference is outside the poll's margin of error, which means that the poll is an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The latest PollyVote expects Trump to gain 47.7% of the two-party vote. That is, Polly's combined forecast is 3.5 points below his polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is thus outside the poll's sampling error.