CNN published the results of a new national poll. In this poll, participants were asked for whom they will vote: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
CNN poll results
Of those who answered the question, 51.0% said that they plan to vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while 45.0% indicated that they would give their vote to businessman Donald Trump.
This poll was conducted via phone from September 28 to October 2, among a random sample of 1213 likely voters. The margin of error is +/-2.9 points. This means that the levels of voter support for Clinton and Trump differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. Therefore, as a general rule, don't focus too much on 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 53.1% for Clinton and 46.9% for Trump. For comparison: 54.7% was obtained by Clinton in the CNN poll on July 31, for Trump this result was only 45.3%.
Results in comparison to other polls
Clinton is currently at 52.0% of the two-party vote according to an average of recent polls. Compared to numbers in the CNN poll Clinton's poll average is 1.1 percentage points worse. This margin is within the poll's sampling error, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The current PollyVote expects Clinton to gain 52.4% of the two-party vote. This means that Polly's combined forecast is 0.7 points below polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is therefore in line with the poll's margin of error.