Results of a new poll carried out by Emerson were announced. The poll asked respondents from Massachusetts for whom they will vote: Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Emerson poll results
The results show that 50.0% of interviewees are going to give their vote to former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, while 33.0% plan to vote for billionaire Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted between September 3 and September 5. The sample size was 500 likely voters. There is a sampling error of +/-4.3 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the gap between both candidates is statistically significant.
Putting the results in context
In general, however, a good strategy is to not have too much faith in the results of single polls, as they may incorporate large errors. At least, one should check how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following analysis, we convert the candidates' raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. The respective figures are 60.2% for Clinton and 39.8% for Trump.
Results in comparison to other polls
If we look at an average of Massachusetts polls, Clinton's current two-party vote share is at 63.5%. This value is 3.3 percentage points higher than her respective numbers in the Emerson poll. This margin is within the poll's error margin, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
The poll compared with PollyVote's forecast
The current PollyVote expects Clinton to gain 63.9% of the two-party vote in Massachusetts. Hence, Polly's prediction is 3.7 points above her polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is thus in line with the poll's error margin.