Results of a new national poll administered by Reuters were spread. The poll asked respondents for whom they will vote: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
Reuters poll results
Of those who answered the question, 43.0% said that they would vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, whereas 39.0% declared that they would give their vote to billionaire Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from October 13 to October 17 among 1190 participants. The margin of error is +/-3.3 points. This means that the poll results for both parties' 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 incorporate large errors. At the very least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following analysis, we translate the candidates' raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. This procedure yields values of 52.4% for Clinton and 47.6% for Trump. To compare: 54.3% was obtained by Clinton in the Reuters poll on October 10, for Trump this result was only 45.7%.
Results vs. other polls
Looking at an average of polls, Clinton's two-party vote share is currently at 53.6%. In comparison to numbers in the Reuters poll Clinton's poll average is 1.2 percentage points higher. This margin is within the poll's margin of error, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote prediction
The current PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 53.9% of the two-party vote. This means that the PollyVote is 1.5 points above polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is thus within the poll's error margin.