CBS News published the results of a new national poll. In this poll, interviewees were asked for whom they will vote: Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
CBS News poll results
Of those who responded, 51.0% said that they would vote for former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, whereas 40.0% indicated that they would give their vote to billionaire Donald Trump.
The phone poll was conducted from October 12 to October 16 with 1189 likely voters. If one takes into account the poll's sampling error of +/-2.9 percentage points, the spread in voter support is statistically significant.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, you should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, because they often incorporate large errors. Rather than trusting the results from single polls, the recommended strategy rely on combined polls or, even better, a combined forecast that relies on different methods and data.
To make the results comparable to forecasts from other methods, you can convert them into shares of the two-party vote. The corresponding figures are 56.0% for Clinton and 44.0% for Trump. In the most recent CBS News poll on July 12 Clinton obtained only 50.0%, while Trump obtained 50.0%.
Results compared to other polls
Clinton currently runs at 53.7% of the two-party vote according to an average of recent polls. This value is 2.3 percentage points lower than respective numbers in the CBS News poll. This margin is within the poll's sampling error, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote prediction
The latest PollyVote anticipates Clinton to gain 53.9% of the two-party vote. That is, Polly's forecast is 2.1 points below polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's error margin indicates that this difference is negligible.