LA Times 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.
LA Times poll results
According to the results, 41.0% of participants said that they would vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, while 47.0% said that they would vote for businessman Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from September 8 to September 14 with 2499 respondents. The error margin is +/-4.5 percentage points, which means that the poll results for the Democratic and the Republican candidate do not differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, one should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, because they can incorporate large errors. At least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
In order to make the results comparable to forecasts from other methods, one can translate them into shares of the two-party vote. This yields figures of 46.6% for Clinton and 53.4% for Trump. In the most recent LA Times poll on September 13 Clinton obtained 47.2%, while Trump obtained only 52.8%.
Comparison to other polls
If we look at an average of polls, Trump's two-party vote share is currently at 48.6%. This value is 4.8 percentage points lower than respective numbers in the LA Times poll. This deviation is outside the poll's margin of error, which means that the poll is an outlier.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote prediction
The current PollyVote foresees Trump to gain 47.0% of the two-party vote. That is, Polly's combined forecast is 6.4 points below polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's sampling error indicates that this difference is significant.