A new Quinnipiac poll out today says the U.S. presidential race is a statistical tie, with Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 42 - 40 percent. Given the poll's 2.4 percent margin of error, that's a statistical tie. This is surprising given one recent poll had Clinton up by as much as 12 percentage points, another up by 5 percentage points.
This poll will cause gnashing of teeth among Clinton fans and exuberance among Trump supporters. Trump, who complained that polls are biased and underestimate his strength, will finally have one he can appreciate.
My message is this -- never pay much attention to any single poll. Look at the poll average, which in one case has Clinton up 6.2 percentage points. I mention this not to mollify the Clintonites or piss off the Trumpsters, just to say that the rolling average, especially so early in the campaign, is a better guide. Any single poll can be quirky, so buyer beware.
This poll has a helluva sample, 1,610 respondents, and was weighted to reflect region of the country, gender, education, age, and race. It called landline and cell phones. There's little to quibble with, methodologically. And of course the usual caveat comes to play, that the election is not about nationwide votes but rather electoral votes state by state. Yes, I know.
Poll Details here
Additional methodological details here