WRAL-TV/SurveyUSAWRAL/SUSA released the results of a new poll, in which respondents from North Carolina were asked for whom they will vote: Republican nominee Donald Trump or Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.
WRAL-TV/SurveyUSAWRAL/SUSA poll results
The results show that 46.0% of interviewees plan to vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, while 44.0% are going to vote for real estate developer Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from September 29 to October 3 among 656 likely voters. If one takes into account the poll's error margin of +/-3.9 percentage points, the results reflect a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. In general, don't rely too much on the results of an individual poll. At least, one should check how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following comparison, we convert Clinton's and Trump's raw poll numbers into two-party vote shares. This procedure yields values of 51.1% for Clinton and 48.9% for Trump.
Results compared to other polls
If we look at an average of North Carolina polls, Clinton's two-party vote share is currently at 50.7%. Relative to her numbers in the WRAL-TV/SurveyUSAWRAL/SUSA poll Clinton's poll average is 0.4 percentage points lower. This difference is within the poll's error margin, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
The poll compared with PollyVote's forecast
The latest PollyVote expects Clinton to gain 49.7% of the two-party vote in North Carolina. That is, the PollyVote forecast is 1.4 points below her polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is therefore in line with the poll's sampling error.