Emerson released the results of a new poll, in which respondents from Virginia were asked for whom they will vote: Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Historically, Virginia has been a purple state, in which neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have had overwhelming support to secure its electoral college votes. Therefore, forecasts in this state are of particular interest.
Emerson poll results
According to the results, 44.0% of interviewees plan to vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while 43.0% would vote for real estate developer Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted between August 30 and September 1. The sample size was 800 likely voters. The error margin is +/-3.4 percentage points, which means that the levels of voter support for Clinton and Trump do not differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. Therefore, as a general rule, you should not be overly confident the results of a single poll. Instead of trusting the results from single polls, we recommend to rely on combined polls or, even better, a combined forecast that draws upon different methods and data.
For the following comparison, we translate the candidates' raw poll numbers into two-party vote shares. The resulting figures are 50.6% for Clinton and 49.4% for Trump.
Results vs. other polls
Looking at an average of Virginia polls, Clinton's two-party vote share is currently at 52.9%. This value is 2.3 percentage points higher than her respective numbers in the Emerson poll. This margin is within the poll's error margin, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
The poll compared with PollyVote's prediction
The latest PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 52.4% of the two-party vote in Virginia. That is, the combined PollyVote is 1.8 points above her polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is therefore within the poll's sampling error.