LA Times released the results of a new national poll, in which respondents were asked for whom they will vote: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
LA Times poll results
Of those who responded, 44.0% said that they will vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, while 45.0% said that they would give their vote to billionaire Donald Trump.
The poll was carried out from October 19 to October 25 with 3145 respondents. If one accounts for the poll's error margin of +/-4.5 percentage points, the results reflect 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, because they sometimes contain large errors. At least, one should examine how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following comparison, we convert Clinton's and Trump's raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. The resulting figures are 49.4% for Clinton and 50.6% for Trump. On October 23 Clinton received 50.6% in the LA Times poll and Trump received only 49.4%.
Results in comparison to other polls
Trump currently runs at 46.8% of the major two-party vote in an average of recent polls. In comparison to numbers in the LA Times poll Trump's poll average is 3.8 percentage points worse. This margin is within the poll's margin of error, which means that the poll is not an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The current PollyVote expects Trump to gain 45.9% of the two-party vote. That is, Polly's forecast is 4.7 points below polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is thus outside the poll's error margin.