NY Times/Siena released the results of a new poll, in which respondents from North Carolina were asked for whom they will vote: Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton or Republican candidate Donald Trump.
NY Times/Siena poll results
According to the results, 49.0% of interviewees will give their vote to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while 41.0% plan to vote for real estate developer Donald Trump.
The poll was conducted from October 20 to October 23. A total of 792 likely voters responded. Taking into account the poll's error margin of +/-3.5 percentage points, the gap between both candidates is statistically significant.
Putting the results in context
Individual polls may incorporate large biases, which is why they should be treated with caution. Rather, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following comparison, we convert the candidates' raw poll numbers into two-party vote shares. This procedure yields values of 54.4% for Clinton and 45.6% for Trump.
Results compared to other polls
Looking at an average of North Carolina polls, Clinton's current two-party vote share is at 51.2%. Compared to her numbers in the NY Times/Siena poll Clinton's poll average is 3.2 percentage points worse. This difference is within the poll's sampling error, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
Results compared to the combined PollyVote prediction
The most recent PollyVote anticipates Clinton to gain 50.5% of the two-party vote in North Carolina. Hence, the combined PollyVote is 3.9 points below her polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is therefore outside the poll's error margin.