Results of a new national poll carried out by Economist were spread. The poll asked respondents for whom they will vote: Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Economist poll results
According to the results, 48.0% of interviewees plan to vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, while 43.0% plan to vote for businessman Donald Trump.
This poll was conducted from October 1 to October 3, among a random sample of 911 participants. The sampling error is +/-3.9 points. This means that the levels of voter support for the Democratic and the Republican candidate do not differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
In general, however, one should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, since they sometimes incorporate large errors. Rather than relying on results from single polls, the best practice scientific advice is to look at combined polls or, even better, the combined PollyVote forecast that incorporates forecasts from different methods, each of which draws upon different data.
In order to make the results comparable to forecasts from benchmark methods, we convert them into shares of the two-party vote. This procedure yields figures of 52.8% for Clinton and 47.3% for Trump. On September 24 Clinton received only 52.2% in the Economist poll and Trump received 47.8%.
Results in comparison to other polls
An average of recent polls sees Clinton at 52.3% of the two-party vote. This value is 0.5 percentage points lower than respective numbers in the Economist poll. This margin is within the poll's sampling error, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The most recent PollyVote foresees Clinton to gain 52.5% of the two-party vote. That is, Polly's prediction is 0.3 points below polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's margin of error suggests that this deviation is insignificant.