Economist released the results of a new national poll, in which respondents were asked for whom they will vote: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
Economist poll results
The poll was conducted from August 14 to August 16 among 911 participants. The margin of error is +/-4.2 points. This means that the poll results for the Republican and the Democratic candidate do not differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, a good strategy is to not have too much faith in the results of single polls, because they may incorporate large errors. Instead of relying on results from single polls, one should look at combined polls or, even better, a combined forecast that includes forecasts from different methods, each of which draws upon different data.
For the following comparison, we convert Trump's and Clinton's raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. This procedure results in figures of 53.4% for Clinton and 46.6% for Trump.
Comparison to other polls
Clinton currently runs at 53.0% of the two-party vote according to an average of recent polls. Compared to numbers in the Economist poll Clinton's poll average is 0.4 percentage points lower. This deviation is within the poll's error margin, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
The poll in comparison with PollyVote's prediction
The latest PollyVote forecasts Clinton to gain 53.5% of the two-party vote. That is, the PollyVote forecast is 0.1 points above polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is thus in line with the poll's error margin.