Emerson released the results of a new poll, in which respondents from Virginia were asked for whom they will vote: Republican nominee Donald Trump or Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.
Virginia is traditionally a purple state, where the GOP and the Democrats have historically won similar levels of support among voters. This is why the election outcome in that state is regarded crucial in determining the overall result of the presidential election.
Emerson poll results
Of those who responded, 46.0% said that they intend to vote for former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, while 43.0% indicated that they would give their vote to businessman Donald Trump.
This poll was conducted from October 10 to October 12, among a random sample of 600 likely voters. The error margin is +/-3.9 percentage points. This means that the poll results for both parties' candidates do not differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
Individual polls may incorporate large biases, and should be treated with caution. Rather, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
In order to make the results comparable to forecasts from benchmark methods, one can convert them into two-party vote shares. This procedure yields figures of 51.7% for Clinton and 48.3% for Trump.
Comparison to other polls
Clinton can currently count on 56.5% of the two-party vote in an average of recent polls in Virginia. This value is 4.8 percentage points higher than her corresponding numbers in the Emerson poll. This difference is outside the poll's error margin, which suggests that the poll is an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The most recent PollyVote expects Clinton to gain 53.0% of the two-party vote in Virginia. That is, Polly's combined forecast is 1.3 points above her polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is therefore within the poll's sampling error.