Franklin & Marshall published the results of a new poll. In this poll, interviewees from Pennsylvania were asked for whom they will vote: Republican nominee Donald Trump or Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.
Franklin & Marshall poll results
Of those who responded, 49.0% said that they would vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, whereas 38.0% revealed that they would give their vote to businessman Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from July 29 to August 2 with 389 likely voters. There is a sampling error of +/-6.3 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, you should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, since they sometimes incorporate large errors. At the very least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following analysis, we translate Clinton's and Trump's raw poll numbers into two-party vote shares. This procedure yields figures of 43.7% for Clinton and 0.0% for Trump.
Comparison to other polls
An average of recent polls in Pennsylvania sees Clinton at 44.9% of the two-party vote. This value is 1.2 percentage points higher than respective numbers in the Franklin & Marshall poll. This deviation is within the poll's margin of error, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
The poll compared with PollyVote's forecast
The most recent PollyVote anticipates Clinton to gain 45.5% of the two-party vote in Pennsylvania. Hence, the PollyVote forecast is 1.8 points above polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's margin of error indicates that this difference is insignificant.