Roanoke College released the results of a new poll, in which respondents from Virginia were asked for whom they will vote: Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Virginia is traditionally a swing state, where the Republican and Democratic candidates have historically gained similar levels of voter support. This is why the election outcome here is considered crucial in determining the overall result of the presidential election.
Roanoke College poll results
Of those who replied, 51.0% said that they plan to vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, whereas 40.0% indicated that they would give their vote to businessman Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from September 11 to September 20 with 841 likely voters. The error margin is +/-3.4 points, which means that the levels of voter support for Clinton and Trump differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
Single polls often include large biases, and should be interpreted with caution. Instead of trusting the results from single polls, one should consult combined polls or, even better, a combined forecast that uses forecasts from different methods, each of which draws upon different data.
To make the results comparable to benchmark forecasts, you can translate them into shares of the two-party vote. This yields figures of 56.0% for Clinton and 44.0% for Trump. In the latest Roanoke College poll on January 26 Clinton obtained 59.8%, while Trump obtained only 40.2%.
Comparison to other polls
Clinton currently achieves 53.9% of the two-party vote according to an average of recent polls in Virginia. In comparison to her numbers in the Roanoke College poll Clinton's poll average is 2.1 percentage points lower. This deviation is within the poll's error margin, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The latest PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 51.5% of the two-party vote in Virginia. This means that Polly's prediction is 4.5 points below her polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is therefore outside the poll's margin of error.