Q-poll: It’s Bernie’s moment

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American voters back Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont over Republican candidates by margins of 4 to 10 percentage points in head-to-head presidential matchups, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released Feb. 18.

The closest Republican contender is Ohio Gov. John Kasich who trails Sanders 45 – 41 percent.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton trails or ties leading Republicans in the November face-off, the Quinnipiac University Poll finds.

If former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg jumps into the race as a third-party candidate against Sanders and Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Bloomberg would hurt Sanders more than either Republican.

Sanders has the highest favorability rating of any candidate and the highest scores for honesty and integrity; for caring about voters’ needs and problems; and for sharing voters’ values.

“Sanders has a lackluster 51 percent favorability rating, but that’s better than all the rest. Most of the top candidates have negative scores,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Sanders ties Clinton and Trump on having strong leadership qualities and falls behind Clinton and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on having the right kind of experience to be president.

“It’s certainly Sen. Bernie Sanders’ moment. The Vermont firebrand leads all potential GOP rivals in raw numbers and raw emotion with the best scores for favorability and several key character traits,” Malloy said. “The candidate running best against Sanders is Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and he’s in fourth place with 6 percent in the Republican presidential pack, unlikely to make it to the main event.”

Presidential matchups among American voters show:

  • Sanders over Trump 48 – 42 percent;
  • Sanders tops Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas 49 – 39 percent;
  • Sanders leads Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida 47 – 41 percent;
  • Sanders beats Bush 49 – 39 percent;
  • Sanders edges Kasich 45 – 41 percent.
  • Clinton with 44 percent to Trump’s 43 percent;
  • Cruz with 46 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent;
  • Rubio topping Clinton 48 – 41 percent;
  • Bush at 44 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent;
  • Kasich beating Clinton 47 – 39 percent.
  • Bloomberg mounts a third party run, results are:
  • Sanders and Trump tied 38 – 38 percent, with 12 percent for Bloomberg;

Sanders tops Cruz 39 – 33 percent, with 14 percent for Bloomberg.

Sanders’ leads among key independent voters is 45 to 35 percent over Kasich, and 52 to 33 percent over Cruz. By comparison, Clinton’s best score among independent voters is 42 percent to Trump’s 40 percent.

Sanders’ leads among women range from 9 to 16 percentage points. Men are generally divided except in the Sanders-Bush matchup where the Democrat leads by 6 percentage points.

Clinton’s leads among women range from a tie to a 9-percentage point edge over Trump. Men vote anyone but Clinton by margins of 8 to 16 percentage points.

American voters give Sanders a 51 to 36 percent favorability. Kasich gets a 35 to 18 percent favorability with Rubio at a split 39-to-37 percent score. All other scores are negative:

  • 37 percent favorable and 58 percent unfavorable for Clinton;
  • 37 to 57 percent for Trump;
  • 36 to 45 percent for Cruz;
  • 21 to 26 percent for Bloomberg;
  • 37 to 48 percent for Bush.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,342 registered voters nationwide from Feb. 10-15, with a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers called land lines and cell phones.