Results of a new poll carried out by Franklin & Marshall were released. The poll asked interviewees from Pennsylvania for whom they will vote: Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Franklin & Marshall poll results
Of those who responded, 49.0% said that they intend to vote for former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, whereas 38.0% indicated that they would give their vote to real estate developer Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from July 29 to August 2 with 389 likely voters. If one takes into account the poll's sampling error of +/-6.3 percentage points, the results reflect a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
In general, however, one should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, because they can contain large errors. At least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following analysis, we convert the candidates' raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. The corresponding figures are 56.3% for Clinton and 43.7% for Trump.
Results compared to other polls
Clinton is currently at 55.1% of the major two-party vote in an average of recent polls in Pennsylvania. This value is 1.2 percentage points lower than her respective numbers in the Franklin & Marshall poll. This difference is within the poll's sampling error, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
The poll compared with PollyVote's forecast
The most recent PollyVote foresees Clinton to gain 54.6% of the two-party vote in Pennsylvania. Hence, Polly's combined forecast is 1.7 points below her polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's margin of error shows that this difference is negligible.