Results of a new national poll conducted by NBC/SurveyMonkey were distributed. The poll asked respondents for whom they will vote: Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
NBC/SurveyMonkey poll results
Of those who responded, 51.0% said that they plan to vote for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, whereas 44.0% said that they would give their vote to real estate developer Donald Trump.
The Internet poll was carried out between October 24 and October 30. The sample size was 40816 likely voters. There is a sampling error of +/-0.5 percentage points. Considering this error margin, the gap between both candidates is statistically significant.
Putting the results in context
As any other method, polls are subject to bias. Thus, as a general rule, you should not have too much confidence in the results of an individual poll. At the very least, one should check how a poll's results compare to benchmark forecasts.
For the following analysis, we convert Clinton's and Trump's raw poll numbers into shares of the two-party vote. The respective figures are 53.7% for Clinton and 46.3% for Trump. To compare: 54.3% was gained by Clinton in the NBC/SurveyMonkey poll on October 16, for Trump this result was only 45.7%.
Comparison to other polls
If we look at an average of polls, Clinton's two-party vote share is currently at 52.9%. In comparison to numbers in the NBC/SurveyMonkey poll Clinton's poll average is 0.8 percentage points lower. This difference is outside the poll's sampling error, which suggests that the poll is an outlier.
The poll in comparison with PollyVote's prediction
The most recent PollyVote anticipates Clinton to gain 53.5% of the two-party vote. That is, the PollyVote forecast is 0.2 points below polling numbers. The PollyVote forecast is thus within the poll's error margin.