Results of a new poll carried out by SuffolkSuffolk were published. The poll asked participants from North Carolina for whom they will vote: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
SuffolkSuffolk poll results
The results show that 41.0% of interviewees are going to vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, while 44.0% are going to vote for businessman Donald Trump.
The poll was in the field between September 5 and September 7. The sample size was 500 likely voters. Taking into account the poll's error margin of +/-4.4 percentage points, the results reflect a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, don't have too much faith in the results of single polls, as they can incorporate large errors. Rather than relying on results from single polls, the recommended strategy use combined polls or, even better, a combined forecast that uses forecasts from different methods, each of which draws upon different data.
In order to make the results comparable to forecasts from benchmark methods, you can convert them into two-party vote shares. This procedure results in values of 48.2% for Clinton and 51.8% for Trump.
Results compared to other polls
Looking at an average of North Carolina polls, Trump's current two-party vote share is at 49.8%. Relative to her numbers in the SuffolkSuffolk poll Trump's poll average is 2 percentage points lower. This deviation is within the poll's error margin, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The most recent PollyVote anticipates Trump to gain 49.8% of the two-party vote in North Carolina. That is, the PollyVote is 2.0 points below her polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is thus within the poll's margin of error.