- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont is better-liked among overall voters and runs ahead of 2016 Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton in match-ups with top 2016 GOP candidates, according to a poll released Thursday.

Mr. Sanders led Ohio Gov. John Kasich by 4 points, businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida by 6 points each and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush by 10 points each, according to the Quinnipiac University poll.

Mrs. Clinton, the former secretary of state, trailed Mr. Kasich by 8 points, trailed Mr. Rubio by 7 points, trailed Mr. Cruz by 3 points, trailed Mr. Bush by 1 point, and led Mr. Trump by 1 point.

Fifty-one percent of U.S. voters said they have a favorable view of Mr. Sanders, compared to 36 percent who reported an unfavorable one. Mrs. Clinton had a negative 37 percent/58 percent favorable/unfavorable split.

“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,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Mr. Sanders had the best favorability rating of any candidate in the survey, Democrat or Republican. Among Democrats only, he had an 82 percent/7 percent favorable/unfavorable split, compared to Mrs. Clinton’s 76 percent/20 percent split.

Nearly seven in 10 voters said Mr. Sanders is honest and trustworthy — also better than any candidate — while about the same percentage said Mrs. Clinton is not honest and trustworthy. He also narrowly edged Mrs. Clinton on having strong leadership qualities, though Mr. Trump led all candidates on that front.

Sixty-one percent said Mr. Sanders cares about the needs and problems of “people like you” — also tops in the field. He also led on the question of whether he shares voters’ values or not.

Mrs. Clinton did hold an advantage over the other candidates on the issue of experience, with 64 percent saying she had the right kind of experience to be president, with 54 percent saying the same of Mr. Sanders.

And despite the head-to-head match-ups, 55 percent said Mrs. Clinton would have a good chance of defeating the Republican nominee in the fall general election, compared to 47 percent who said the same of Mr. Sanders.

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