Results of a new national poll administered by NBC News were distributed. The poll asked participants for whom they will vote: Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
NBC News poll results
According to the results, 50.0% of participants would cast a ballot for former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, whereas 42.0% plan to vote for real estate developer Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from August 15 to August 21 with 1745 participants. The margin of error is +/-1.1 points, which means that the levels of voter support for the Republican and the Democratic candidate do not differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
In general, however, you should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, since they sometimes contain large errors. At least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following comparison, we translate the candidates' raw poll numbers into two-party vote shares. This procedure yields figures of 54.4% for Clinton and 45.7% for Trump.
Results in comparison to other polls
An average of recent polls sees Clinton at 53.1% of the two-party vote. Compared to numbers in the NBC News poll Clinton's poll average is 1.3 percentage points worse. This deviation is outside the poll's error margin, which means that the poll is an outlier.
The poll in comparison with PollyVote's prediction
The latest PollyVote anticipates Clinton to gain 53.7% of the two-party vote. This means that the combined PollyVote is 0.7 points below polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's margin of error shows that this difference is negligible.