FOX News published the results of a new poll. In this poll, participants from North Carolina were asked for whom they will vote: Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
FOX News poll results
Of those who answered the question, 42.0% said that they are going to vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, while 47.0% declared that they would give their vote to businessman Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from September 18 to September 20 with 734 likely voters. If one takes into account the poll's sampling error of +/-3.5 percentage points, the results reflect a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, you should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, as they may contain large errors. Instead of trusting the results from single polls, you should look at combined polls or, even better, a combined forecast that uses different methods and data.
In order to make the results comparable to benchmark forecasts, one can convert them into two-party vote shares. This yields figures of 47.2% for Clinton and 52.8% for Trump.
Comparison to other polls
Looking at an average of North Carolina polls, Trump's two-party vote share is currently at 50.5%. This value is 2.4 percentage points lower than his respective numbers in the FOX News poll. This difference is within the poll's sampling error, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The most recent PollyVote anticipates Trump to gain 50.9% of the two-party vote in North Carolina. This means that the combined PollyVote is 1.9 points below his polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's error margin suggests that this deviation is negligible.