NBC News released the results of a new national poll, in which respondents were asked for whom they will vote: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
NBC News poll results
The poll was carried out between July 31 and August 3. The sample size was 800 participants. Taking into account the poll's sampling error of +/-3.5 percentage points, the results reflect a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. Therefore, as a general rule, one should not rely too much on the results of a single poll. At least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
In order to make the results comparable to forecasts from benchmark methods, one can translate them into two-party vote shares. This procedure yields figures of 55.3% for Clinton and 44.7% for Trump.
Results in comparison to other polls
In comparison to the average results of other polls Clinton performed worse with 0.5 percentage points, while Trump did better with 0.5 percentage points. This difference is outside the poll's margin of error, which suggests that the poll is an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The most recent PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 52.8% and Trump 47.2% of the two-party vote. Clinton has 2.5 percentage points more and Trump has 2.5 percentage points less when the results of the poll are compared to the combined PollyVote forecast. Again, a look at the poll's sampling error suggests that this deviation is significant.