Suffolk University released the results of a new poll, in which respondents from Ohio were asked for whom they will vote: Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
In Ohio, the election outcome is usually decided by a narrow margin. This is the reason why the state is commonly considered a swing state, which makes it particularly interesting from a forecasting perspective.
Suffolk University poll results
According to the results, former New York Senator Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump can draw on the exact same level of support, each with 45.0% of the vote.
The poll was conducted from October 17 to October 19 with 500 likely voters. If one takes into account the poll's margin of error of +/-4.4 percentage points, the results reflect 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 may contain large errors. Rather than trusting the results from single polls, forecasting research recommends to consult combined polls or, even better, the combined PollyVote forecast that includes forecasts from different methods, each of which draws upon different data.
For the following analysis, we translate the candidates' 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 concerning the two-party vote share.
The poll compared with PollyVote's forecast
The most recent PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 50.9% and Trump 49.1% of the two-party vote in Ohio. Clinton has 0.9 percentage points less when the results of the poll are compared to the combined PollyVote forecast for Ohio. The PollyVote forecast is thus outside the poll's sampling error.