Results of a new national poll conducted by CNN were released. The poll asked respondents for whom they will vote: Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
CNN poll results
According to the results, 48.0% of participants are going to vote for former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, whereas 49.0% plan to vote for billionaire Donald Trump.
This poll was conducted via phone from September 1 to September 4, among a random sample of 786 likely voters. There is a sampling error of +/-3.6 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
Individual polls should be treated with caution, since they often include large errors. At the very least, one should check how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following comparison, we convert Clinton's and Trump's raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. This yields figures of 50.5% for Clinton and 49.5% for Trump. For comparison: 54.7% was obtained by Clinton in the CNN poll on August 4, for Trump this result was only 45.3%.
Results in comparison to other polls
An average of recent polls has Clinton at 52.1% of the two-party vote. Relative to numbers in the CNN poll Clinton's poll average is 1.6 percentage points better. This margin is within the poll's sampling error, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote prediction
The most recent PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 52.6% of the two-party vote. This means that the PollyVote is 2.1 points above polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is therefore within the poll's sampling error.