Results of a new poll carried out by Emerson were distributed on October 19. The poll asked interviewees from Arizona for whom they will vote: Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
Emerson poll results
According to the results, 44.0% of interviewees are going to vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, while 42.0% intend to vote for real estate developer Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from October 2 to October 4 with 600 likely voters. The error margin is +/-3.9 points, which means that the levels of voter support for Clinton and Trump do not differ significantly.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, don't have too much faith in the results of single polls, because they can incorporate large errors. At least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
To make the results comparable to forecasts from other methods, one can translate them into shares of the two-party vote. This yields figures of 51.2% for Clinton and 48.8% for Trump.
Comparison to other polls
Clinton is currently at 50.9% of the two-party vote in an average of recent polls in Arizona. This value is 0.3 percentage points lower than her corresponding numbers in the Emerson poll. This deviation is within the poll's sampling error, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The latest PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 48.7% of the two-party vote in Arizona. Hence, the PollyVote forecast is 2.5 points below her polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's sampling error indicates that this deviation is negligible.