Results of a new national poll carried out by Monmouth were circulated. The poll asked participants for whom they will vote: Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton or Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Monmouth poll results
The results show that 49.0% of interviewees will give their vote to former First Lady Hillary Clinton, while 46.0% would vote for real estate developer Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from September 22 to September 25 among 729 participants. There is a sampling error of +/-3.6 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. Therefore, as a general rule, you should not have too much faith in the results of a single poll. At the very least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following analysis, we translate Trump's and Clinton's raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. This procedure yields figures of 51.6% for Clinton and 48.4% for Trump. On August 28 Clinton obtained only 46.2% in the Monmouth poll and Trump obtained only 0.0%.
Results compared to other polls
Looking at an average of polls, Clinton's current two-party vote share is at 51.3%. Compared to numbers in the Monmouth poll Clinton's poll average is 0.3 percentage points lower. This margin is within the poll's error margin, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
The poll compared with PollyVote's prediction
The latest PollyVote forecasts Clinton to gain 52.4% of the two-party vote. Hence, the combined PollyVote is 0.8 points above polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's sampling error reveals that this difference is insignificant.