Economist released the results of a new national poll, in which respondents were asked for whom they will vote: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Economist poll results
Of those who replied, 47.0% said that they plan to vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while 44.0% said that they would give their vote to billionaire Donald Trump.
This poll was conducted from August 19 to August 23, among a random sample of 906 participants. There is a sampling error of +/-4.1 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
In general, however, you should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, because they can incorporate large errors. Rather than relying on results from single polls, the best practice scientific advice is to 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 the candidates' raw poll numbers into two-party vote shares. This procedure results in values of 51.7% for Clinton and 48.4% for Trump.
Comparison to other polls
Clinton currently runs at 53.2% of the two-party vote according to an average of recent polls. Compared to numbers in the Economist poll Clinton's poll average is 1.5 percentage points higher. This deviation is within the poll's error margin, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
The poll in comparison with PollyVote's prediction
The most recent PollyVote anticipates Clinton to gain 53.6% of the two-party vote. Hence, Polly's combined forecast is 1.9 points above polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's error margin suggests that this deviation is insignificant.