LA Times released the results of a new national poll, in which respondents were asked for whom they will vote: Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
LA Times poll results
According to the results, former New York Senator Hillary Clinton and billionaire Donald Trump can draw on identical levels of support, each with 44.0% of the vote.
The poll was conducted from September 5 to September 11. A total of 2596 respondents responded. There is a sampling error of +/-4.5 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
In general, however, one should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, as they sometimes incorporate large errors. Rather, one should check how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following analysis, we convert the candidates' raw poll numbers into two-party vote shares. The results of the actual poll mean 50.0 % for Clinton and 50.0 % for Trump concerning the two-party vote share. On September 11 Clinton obtained 50.6% in the LA Times poll and Trump obtained only 49.4%.
Comparison to other polls
If we look at an average of polls, Clinton's two-party vote share is currently at 52.1%. In comparison to the average forecast of other polls Clinton performed 2.1 percentage points worse in the poll. This deviation is outside the poll's error margin, which suggests that the poll is an outlier.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote forecast
The most recent PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 53.0% and Trump 47.0% of the two-party vote. Clinton has 3 percentage points less when the results of the poll are compared to the combined PollyVote forecast. Again, a look at the poll's sampling error suggests that this difference is significant.