Civitas (R) published the results of a new poll. In this poll, respondents from North Carolina were asked for whom they will vote: Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
Civitas (R) poll results
The results show that businessman Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can draw on equal levels of support, each with 42.0% of the vote.
The poll was in the field between September 11 and September 12. The sample size was 600 likely voters. There is a sampling error of +/-4.0 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, because they sometimes incorporate large errors. Rather, 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 results of the actual poll mean 50.0 % for Clinton and 50.0 % for Trump for the two-party vote share.
Comparison to other polls
If we look at an average of North Carolina polls, Clinton's current two-party vote share is at 50.3%. In comparison to the average forecast of other polls Clinton performed 0.3 percentage points worse in the poll. This deviation is outside the poll's margin of error, which suggests that the poll is an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The most recent PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 50.1% and Trump 49.9% of the two-party vote in North Carolina. Clinton has 0.1 percentage points less when the results of the poll are compared to the combined PollyVote forecast for North Carolina. Again, a look at the poll's error margin reveals that this deviation is significant.