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, 43.0% of participants indicated that they would vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, whereas 47.0% would vote for businessman Donald Trump.
The poll was in the field between September 21 and September 27. The sample size was 2673 participants. There is a sampling error of +/-4.5 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, a good strategy is to not have too much faith in the results of single polls, since they can contain large errors. Instead of trusting the results from single polls, the evidence-based approach is to look at combined polls or, even better, a combined forecast that relies on forecasts from different methods, each of which draws upon different data.
For the following analysis, we convert Trump's and Clinton's raw poll numbers into two-party vote shares. This yields figures of 47.8% for Clinton and 52.2% for Trump. On September 26 Clinton received 48.3% in the LA Times poll and Trump received only 51.7%.
Comparison to other polls
Trump can currently count on 48.5% of the two-party vote in an average of recent polls. This value is 3.7 percentage points lower than respective numbers in the LA Times poll. This margin is within the poll's error margin, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The most recent PollyVote predicts Trump to gain 47.7% of the two-party vote. That is, the combined PollyVote is 4.5 points below polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is thus within the poll's margin of error.