LA Times published the results of a new national poll. In this poll, interviewees were asked for whom they will vote: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
LA Times poll results
The results show that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and real estate developer Donald Trump can draw on the same level of support, each with 44.0% of the vote.
The poll was conducted between October 12 and October 18. The sample size was 3019 participants. The sampling error is +/-4.5 points, which means that the poll results for both candidates do not differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
Single polls can include substantial errors, and should be treated with caution. At least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following comparison, we convert Clinton's and Trump's raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. The results of the actual poll mean 50.0 % for Clinton and 50.0 % for Trump in the two-party vote share. To compare: Only 48.9% was gained by Clinton in the LA Times poll on October 17, for Trump this number was 51.1%.
Comparison to other polls
Clinton is currently at 53.8% of the two-party vote according to an average of recent polls. When compared to the average forecast of other polls Clinton performed 3.8 percentage points worse in the poll. This margin is outside the poll's sampling error, which means that the poll is an outlier.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote forecast
The most recent PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 53.9% and Trump 46.2% of the two-party vote. Clinton has 3.9 percentage points less when the results of the poll are compared to the combined PollyVote forecast. Again, a look at the poll's error margin reveals that this deviation is significant.