Results of a new poll administered by Civitas (R) were distributed on October 3. The poll asked respondents from North Carolina for whom they will vote: Donald·Trump or Hillary·Clinton.
Civitas (R) poll results
The results show that 45.0% of respondents plan to cast a ballot for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while 43.0% plan to vote for billionaire Donald Trump.
This poll was conducted from October 14 to October 17, among a random sample of 600 likely voters. There is a sampling error of +/-4.0 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the race is currently a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As a general rule, however, a good strategy is to not have too much faith in the results of single polls, since they often contain large errors. Instead of trusting the results from single polls, one should use combined polls or, even better, the combined PollyVote forecast that relies on different methods and data.
For the following comparison, we translate the candidates' raw poll numbers into two-party vote shares. The resulting figures are 51.1% for Clinton and 48.9% for Trump.
Comparison to other polls
If we look at an average of North Carolina polls, Clinton's current two-party vote share is at 51.5%. This value is 0.4 percentage points higher than her corresponding numbers in the Civitas (R) poll. This margin is within the poll's sampling error, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
The poll in comparison with PollyVote's forecast
The current PollyVote foresees Clinton to gain 50.4% of the two-party vote in North Carolina. This means that Polly's prediction is 0.7 points below her polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is thus within the poll's margin of error.