Results of a new poll conducted by Suffolk University were spread. The poll asked respondents from Ohio for whom they will vote: Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
In Ohio, the popular vote is often close. This is why the state is commonly referred to as a battleground state, which makes it particularly interesting from a forecasting perspective.
Suffolk University poll results
The results show that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump can draw on equal levels of support, each with 45.0% of the vote.
This poll was conducted from October 17 to October 19, among a random sample of 500 likely voters. Given the poll's error margin of +/-4.4 percentage points, the results reflect a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. Thus, as a general rule, a good strategy is to not be too confident the results of an individual poll. Rather, one should check how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
To make the results comparable to forecasts from other methods, we translate them into shares of the two-party vote. The results of the actual poll mean 50.0 % for Clinton and 50.0 % for Trump for the two-party vote share.
Comparison to other polls
An average of recent polls in Ohio sees Clinton at 0.0% of the two-party vote. In comparison to the average forecast of other polls Clinton performed 50 percentage points better in the poll. This margin is outside the poll's error margin, which suggests that the poll is an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The most recent PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 50.8% and Trump 49.2% of the two-party vote in Ohio. Clinton has 0.8 percentage points less when the results of the poll are compared to the combined PollyVote forecast for Ohio. Again, a look at the poll's sampling error shows that this difference is significant.