Results of a new national poll conducted by Reuters were released on July 30. The poll asked interviewees for whom they will vote: Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
Reuters poll results
The results show that 40.0% of interviewees indicated to vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, while 35.0% plan to vote for businessman Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from July 25 to July 29. A total of 1050 participants responded. If one accounts for the poll's margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points, the results reflect a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
In general, however, you should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, because they can contain large errors. Rather, one should check 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 values of 53.3% for Clinton and 46.7% for Trump. On July 21 Clinton received only 52.6% in the Reuters poll and Trump received 47.4%.
Results vs. other polls
An average of recent polls has Clinton at 51.4% of the two-party vote. This value is 1.9 percentage points lower than her respective numbers in the Reuters poll. This deviation is within the poll's sampling error, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote forecast
The latest PollyVote forecasts Clinton to gain 52.0% of the two-party vote. Hence, Polly's combined forecast is 1.3 points below her polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is therefore within the poll's sampling error.