NBC News released the results of a new national poll, in which respondents were asked for whom they will vote: Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton or Republican candidate Donald Trump.
NBC News poll results
Of those who replied, 48.0% said that they will vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, while 42.0% revealed that they would give their vote to real estate developer Donald Trump.
This poll was conducted from August 29 to September 4, among a random sample of 3222 participants. There is a sampling error of +/-1.0 percentage point. Considering this error margin, the gap between both candidates is statistically significant.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. Thus, as a general rule, don't rely too much on the results of a single poll. At least, one should check 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. The respective figures are 53.3% for Clinton and 46.7% for Trump. In the most recent NBC News poll on September 1 Clinton obtained only 46.7%, while Trump obtained only 0.0%.
Comparison to other polls
If we look at an average of polls, Clinton's two-party vote share is currently at 52.1%. This value is 1.2 percentage points lower than corresponding numbers in the NBC News poll. This deviation is outside the poll's margin of error, which means that the poll is an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The most recent PollyVote foresees Clinton to gain 52.6% of the two-party vote. Hence, Polly's prediction is 0.7 points below polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's sampling error suggests that this difference is negligible.