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Readers: Biden would be strongest pick

The first Democratic presidential debate Tuesday evening shifted the spotlight in the 2016 presidential race to the Democrats.

A plurality of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll thinks Vice President Joe Biden would be the party’s strongest candidate. The former U.S. senator from Delaware did not participate in Tuesday’s debate but has said he’s considering entering the race and plans to announce his decision before the end of October.

Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and U.S. senator from New York, garnered just shy of a third of the vote among all respondents, and was the top pick among respondents who said they are Democrats.

Clinton, along with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, dominated the conversation at Tuesday’s debate. Sanders was picked as the strongest candidate by 18 percent of all pollparticipants and among only Democrats.

Tuesday’s debate also included Lincoln Chafee, former Rhode Island governor and U.S. senator; Martin O’Malley, former Maryland governor; and Jim Webb, former U.S. senator from Virginia and secretary of the Navy.

Roughly 600 readers participated in this week’s poll, conducted Oct. 13 and 14. (The deadline for responses was 9 p.m. Tuesday, shortly after the debate began).

In your opinion, who would be the strongest Democratic presidential candidate in 2016?
Joe Biden: 38%
Hillary Clinton: 30%
Bernie Sanders: 18%
Jim Webb: 7%
Martin O’Malley: 2%
Lincoln Chafee: 1%
Other: 4%

Among respondents who are Democrats:
Hillary Clinton: 44%
Joe Biden: 32%
Bernie Sanders: 18%
Jim Webb: 2%
Martin O’Malley: 1%
Other: 3%

What is your political affiliation?
Democrat: 32%
Republican: 29%
Non-affiliated: 35%
Other: 4%

COMMENTS:
Hillary, Bernie and Joe. Where is the diversity in the Democratic Party? It has become the “party of exclusion.”
—A. Kempf, Fairport

(Clinton) is not the warmest and fuzziest, but she has more gravitas than the others. This is subject to putting the email stuff behind her.
—Bob Gibson

Hillary is the “frontrunner” and has the most money to spend, however, this does not make her the best candidate, yet we do not know enough about the other candidates!
—J.A. DePaolis, Penfield

Bernie Sanders represents a real opportunity for the Democratic Party and the nation as a whole the opportunity to endorse or reject democratic-socialism.
—Ryan Peck, Rochester

Bigger government, higher taxes, more social programs, more laws, less freedom of your own choice, higher debt so the kings and queens in Washington may continue their free ride on U.S., the taxpayer servants. Wake up, America. Take this great country—the United States of America—back!
—David J. Topian, president, Westminster Real Estate Advisors

(Elizabeth) Warren has demonstrated consistent dedication to the interests of Main Street over Wall Street. Win or lose, she is a voice for the little people. Now it is true that Mr. Sanders also speaks for Main Street, but he has too many vulnerabilities, such as his socialist leanings, that will drag him down.
—Wayne Donner, Rush

Jim Webb is a very capable, high-integrity guy who has the ability to attract middle of the road voters as well as work with other parties. I do not think the Democrats know how good he could be.
—Bob Worden, Penn Yan

It would seem appropriate to have someone with some experience in the medical field to lead our country while we continue to work out our best pathway for universal health care for the future of this nation. G_d willing, Mr. Sanders’ hands (and personal investment portfolio) will be not too heavily invested in pharmaceuticals that he can be viewed both in fact and in appearance as someone who can stand above the fray and perform some true guidance as our chief executive.
—Rusty Tyson

Can I do a write-in candidate, Mr. or Ms. (either is fine with me) None? I’d like to be able to say “None of the Above,” although that would imply that I can think of someone else who I’d like to support. I cannot so I will just say Mr. or Ms. None. The Democrats say that the Republican Congress is out of touch and is just plain out there. It may be true. It may be largely true. On the flip side, which one of the Democrats is the adult in the room? I don’t see them doing anything differently on one side than the Republicans do on the other. Where is Lyndon Johnson when we really, really need him? Say what you want about his presidency. What you cannot say is that he didn’t know how to get both parties in Congress to get on the same page for important legislation.
—Jay Birnbaum

10/9/15 (c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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