Quinnipiac published the results of a new poll on October 10. In this poll, interviewees from North Carolina were asked for whom they will vote: Republican nominee Donald Trump or Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.
Quinnipiac poll results
Of those who responded, 49.0% said that they would vote for former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, whereas 46.0% revealed that they would give their vote to billionaire Donald Trump.
This poll was conducted from September 27 to October 2, among a random sample of 535 likely voters. If one accounts for the poll's error margin of +/-4.2 percentage points, the results reflect a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. In general, one should not put too much trust in the results of an individual poll. At least, one should check how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following analysis, we convert Clinton's and Trump's raw poll numbers into two-party vote shares. The corresponding figures are 51.6% for Clinton and 48.4% for Trump.
Comparison to other polls
An average of recent polls in North Carolina sees Clinton at 51.5% of the two-party vote. Compared to her numbers in the Quinnipiac poll Clinton's poll average is 0.1 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 most recent PollyVote expects Clinton to gain 49.7% of the two-party vote in North Carolina. Hence, the combined PollyVote is 1.9 points below her polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's margin of error indicates that this difference is negligible.