Suffolk University published the results of a new poll. In this poll, respondents from Ohio were asked for whom they will vote: Republican nominee Donald Trump or Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.
In Ohio, the popular vote is usually close. Therefore, the state is commonly regarded as a purple state, which makes it particularly interesting from a forecasting perspective.
Suffolk University poll results
The results show that billionaire Donald Trump and former First Lady Hillary Clinton can draw on the same level of support, each with 44.0% of the vote.
The poll was conducted from July 18 to July 20 among 500 likely voters. The sampling error is +/-4.4 points, which means that the levels of voter support for the two candidates do not differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, don't have too much faith in the results of single polls, because they sometimes incorporate large errors. Rather, one should check how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
To make the results comparable to forecasts from other methods, we translate them into two-party vote shares. The results of the actual poll mean 50.0 % for Clinton and 50.0 % for Trump for the two-party vote share.
Comparison to other polls
In comparison to the average results of other polls Clinton performed worse with 1.5 percentage points, while Trump did better with 1.5 percentage points. This difference is outside the poll's error margin, which suggests that the poll is an outlier.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote prediction
The most recent PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 51.0% and Trump 49.0% of the two-party vote in Ohio. Clinton has 1.0 percentage points less and Trump has 1.0 percentage points more when the results of the poll are compared to the combined PollyVote forecast for Ohio. Again, a look at the poll's error margin shows that this difference is significant.