USA Today released the results of a new national poll, in which respondents were asked for whom they will vote: Republican nominee Donald Trump or Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.
USA Today poll results
According to the results, 48.0% of respondents said that they would vote for former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, whereas 41.0% are going to vote for real estate developer Donald Trump.
The poll was carried out from August 24 to August 29 among 1000 participants. The sampling error is +/-3.0 points. This means that the poll results for both parties' candidates differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
In general, however, a good strategy is to not have too much faith in the results of single polls, as they can contain large errors. At 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 shares of the two-party vote. The corresponding figures are 53.9% for Clinton and 46.1% for Trump. On July 4 Clinton received only 53.5% in the USA Today poll and Trump received 46.5%.
Results in comparison to other polls
An average of recent polls has Clinton at 52.6% of the two-party vote. This value is 1.3 percentage points lower than corresponding numbers in the USA Today poll. This deviation is within the poll's sampling error, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote forecast
The latest PollyVote forecasts Clinton to gain 53.4% of the two-party vote. This means that Polly's combined forecast is 0.5 points below polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is thus within the poll's margin of error.