LA Times released the results of a new national poll, in which respondents were asked for whom they will vote: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
LA Times poll results
The results show that the two candidates can draw on the exact same level of support, each with 44.0% of the vote.
This poll was conducted from October 8 to October 14, among a random sample of 2870 participants. There is a sampling error of +/-4.5 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, one should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, since they sometimes contain large errors. Instead of relying on results from single polls, one should consult combined polls or, even better, a combined forecast that incorporates forecasts from different methods, each of which incorporates different data.
To make the results comparable to benchmark forecasts, one can translate them into two-party vote shares. The results of the actual poll mean 50.0 % for Clinton and 50.0 % for Trump for the two-party vote share.
Results in comparison to other polls
Clinton currently achieves 53.8% of the two-party vote in an average of recent polls. In comparison to the average forecast of other polls Clinton performed 3.8 percentage points worse in the poll. This difference is outside the poll's error margin, which means that the poll is an outlier.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote prediction
The most recent PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 53.8% and Trump 46.2% of the two-party vote. Clinton has 3.8 percentage points less when the results of the poll are compared to the combined PollyVote forecast. Again, a look at the poll's sampling error reveals that this deviation is significant.