Results of a new national poll conducted by LA Times were distributed. The poll asked respondents for whom they will vote: Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
LA Times poll results
According to the results, the two candidates have equal levels of support, each with 44.0% of the vote.
The poll was carried out between October 15 and October 21. The sample size was 3052 participants. There is a sampling error of +/-4.5 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
Individual polls should be interpreted with caution, because they often contain large biases. At least, one should check 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 49.4% was gained by Clinton in the LA Times poll on October 20, for Trump this result was 50.6%.
Comparison to other polls
If we look at an average of polls, Clinton's two-party vote share is currently at 53.3%. In comparison to the average forecast of other polls Clinton performed 3.3 percentage points worse in the poll. This difference is outside the poll's margin of 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 46.1% 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. The PollyVote forecast is therefore outside the poll's sampling error.