Results of a new poll carried out by Emerson were distributed on October 10. The poll asked participants from New Jersey for whom they will vote: Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Emerson poll results
Of those who answered the question, 47.0% said that they intend to vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, while 43.0% revealed that they would give their vote to real estate developer Donald Trump.
The poll was carried out between September 2 and September 5. The sample size was 800 likely voters. There is a sampling error of +/-3.4 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
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 an individual poll. Rather, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following comparison, we convert Trump's and Clinton's raw poll numbers into two-party vote shares. This yields figures of 52.2% for Clinton and 47.8% for Trump.
Comparison to other polls
An average of recent polls in New Jersey has Clinton at 56.3% of the two-party vote. This value is 4.1 percentage points higher than her respective numbers in the Emerson poll. This difference is outside the poll's sampling error, which means that the poll is an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The most recent PollyVote anticipates Clinton to gain 57.5% of the two-party vote in New Jersey. That is, the combined PollyVote is 5.3 points above her polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's sampling error suggests that this difference is significant.