Results of a new poll carried out by Emerson were circulated. The poll asked participants from North Carolina for whom they will vote: Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton or Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Emerson poll results
The results show that 43.0% of respondents will vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whereas 45.0% are going to vote for businessman Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from August 27 to August 29. A total of 800 likely voters responded. There is a sampling error of +/-3.4 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
Single polls should be regarded with caution, because they can incorporate large errors. At the very least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following analysis, we translate the candidates' raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. This yields figures of 48.9% for Clinton and 51.1% for Trump.
Comparison to other polls
Looking at an average of North Carolina polls, Trump's current two-party vote share is at 49.6%. This value is 1.5 percentage points lower than her corresponding numbers in the Emerson poll. This deviation is within the poll's margin of error, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
The poll compared with PollyVote's prediction
The latest PollyVote anticipates Trump to gain 49.9% of the two-party vote in North Carolina. Hence, Polly's combined forecast is 1.2 points below her polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's error margin suggests that this difference is negligible.