On July 25, Morning Consult released the results of a new national poll commissioned by Boston Herald, in which respondents were asked for whom they would vote if the nominees were Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party and Donald Trump for the Republicans.
Morning Consult poll results
Of those who responded, 40.0% said that they are going to vote for former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, whereas 44.0% declared that they would give their vote to real estate developer Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted via Internet from July 14 to July 16. There is a sampling error of +/-4.0 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, a good strategy is to not have too much faith in the results of single polls, because they often contain large errors. Rather, one should check how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following analysis, we convert the candidates' raw poll numbers into two-party vote shares. The resulting figures are 47.6% for Clinton and 52.4% for Trump. To compare: 51.3% was obtained by Clinton in the Morning Consult poll on July 18, for Trump this number was only 48.8%.
Comparison to other polls
If we look at an average of polls, Trump's current two-party vote share is at 48.6%. Compared to his numbers in the Morning Consult poll Trump's poll average is 3.8 percentage points worse. This margin is within the poll's margin of error, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
The poll in comparison with PollyVote's prediction
The current PollyVote predicts Trump to gain 47.9% of the two-party vote. This means that Polly's forecast is 4.5 points below his polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's error margin reveals that this difference is significant.