NBC/WSJ/MaristNBC/WSJ published the results of a new poll. In this poll, participants from Ohio were asked for whom they will vote: Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
In Ohio, the popular vote is often decided by a narrow margin. This is the reason why the state is commonly viewed as a purple state, which makes it particularly interesting from a forecasting perspective.
NBC/WSJ/MaristNBC/WSJ poll results
According to the results, the two candidates have identical levels of support, each with 39.0% of the vote.
This poll was conducted from July 5 to July 10, among a random sample of 848 registered voters. There is a sampling error of +/-3.4 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. Hence, a good strategy is to not rely too much on the results of an individual poll. Rather, 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 two-party vote shares. The results of the actual poll mean 50.0 % for Clinton and 50.0 % for Trump concerning the two-party vote share.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote prediction
The most recent PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 50.7% and Trump 49.3% of the two-party vote in Ohio. Clinton has 0.7 percentage points less and Trump has 0.7 percentage points more when the results of the poll are compared to the combined PollyVote forecast for Ohio. The PollyVote forecast is thus outside the poll's error margin.