Monmouth published the results of a new poll. In this poll, interviewees from North Carolina were asked for whom they will vote: Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Monmouth poll results
Of those who answered the question, 47.0% said that they would vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, whereas 46.0% said that they would give their vote to real estate developer Donald Trump.
The poll was carried out from October 20 to October 23 among 402 likely voters. There is a sampling error of +/-4.9 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, you should not have too much faith in the results of single polls, as they sometimes contain large errors. At the very least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following analysis, we translate Clinton's and Trump's raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. This yields figures of 50.5% for Clinton and 49.5% for Trump.
Comparison to other polls
Clinton can currently count on 51.3% of the major two-party vote in an average of recent polls in North Carolina. This value is 0.8 percentage points higher than her corresponding numbers in the Monmouth poll. This margin is within the poll's error margin, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote forecast
The latest PollyVote expects Clinton to gain 50.0% of the two-party vote in North Carolina. That is, the combined PollyVote is 0.5 points below her polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's sampling error shows that this deviation is insignificant.