Results of a new national poll conducted by LA Times were announced on July 27. The poll asked participants for whom they will vote: Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
LA Times poll results
Of those who responded, 47.0% said that they plan to vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, whereas 40.0% said that they would give their vote to real estate developer Donald Trump.
This poll was conducted from July 20 to July 26, among a random sample of 2112 participants. Given the poll's error margin of +/-2.2 percentage points, the spread between both candidates is statistically significant.
Putting the results in context
In general, however, don't have too much faith in the results of single polls, since they may contain large errors. At the very least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following comparison, we convert Trump's and Clinton's raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. This yields figures of 46.0% for Clinton and 54.0% for Trump. To compare: 47.1% was gained by Clinton in the LA Times poll on July 26, for Trump this number was only 52.9%.
Comparison to other polls
Trump is currently at 49.5% of the major two-party vote in an average of recent polls. Compared to his numbers in the LA Times poll Trump's poll average is 4.5 percentage points worse. This difference is outside the poll's sampling error, which suggests that the poll is an outlier.
The poll compared with PollyVote's prediction
The current PollyVote forecasts Trump to gain 48.1% of the two-party vote. Hence, the combined PollyVote is 5.9 points below his polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's margin of error suggests that this difference is significant.