Suffolk University published the results of a new poll. In this poll, interviewees from North Carolina were asked for whom they will vote: Republican nominee Donald Trump or Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.
Suffolk University poll results
According to the results, 45.0% of participants are going to give their vote to former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, whereas 43.0% would vote for businessman Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted between October 10 and October 12. The sample size was 500 likely voters. The sampling error is +/-4.4 points. This means that the poll results for both candidates do not differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, a good strategy is to not have too much faith in the results of single polls, because they may contain large errors. Rather than relying on results from single polls, the evidence-based approach is to look at combined polls or, even better, a combined forecast that draws upon different methods and data.
To make the results comparable to forecasts from benchmark methods, one can translate them into two-party vote shares. This yields figures of 51.1% for Clinton and 48.9% for Trump.
Results vs. other polls
An average of recent polls in North Carolina has Clinton at 51.4% of the two-party vote. This value is 0.3 percentage points higher than her respective numbers in the Suffolk University poll. This deviation is within the poll's sampling error, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The latest PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 50.2% of the two-party vote in North Carolina. That is, Polly's prediction is 0.9 points below her polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is thus within the poll's error margin.