Emerson 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.
Emerson poll results
Of those who answered the question, 48.0% said that they are going to vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whereas 45.0% indicated that they would give their vote to businessman Donald Trump.
This poll was conducted from October 26 to October 27, among a random sample of 650 likely voters. If one accounts for the poll's sampling error of +/-3.8 percentage points, the results reflect a statistical tie.
Putting the results in context
In general, however, a good strategy is to not have too much faith in the results of single polls, because they sometimes incorporate large errors. Rather, one should check how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
To make the results comparable to forecasts from benchmark methods, you can translate them into shares of the two-party vote. This yields figures of 51.6% for Clinton and 48.4% for Trump.
Comparison to other polls
An average of recent polls in North Carolina has Clinton at 51.6% of the two-party vote. Compared to her numbers in the Emerson poll Clinton's poll average is 0 percentage points higher. This deviation is within the poll's error margin, which suggests that the poll is not an outlier.
Comparison to the combined PollyVote
The current PollyVote predicts Clinton to gain 50.7% of the two-party vote in North Carolina. Hence, Polly's prediction is 0.9 points below her polling numbers. Again, a look at the poll's sampling error indicates that this deviation is negligible.