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Readers weigh in on potential pairings

Respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll were fairly evenly split between leading Democratic and Republican president candidates in potential pairings.

Next Monday, the Iowa caucus will signal the official start of the 2016 electoral contest for president. Voters in that state’s 1,681 precincts will gather to select delegates to county conventions—the first step in choosing Iowa’s delegates to the presidential nominating conventions.

Polls in Iowa show close, two-candidate races in both parties. For the Republicans, the battle is between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and businessman and media personality Donald Trump. On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont appear to be neck and neck.

Slightly more than half—51 percent—of Snap Poll respondents said they would pick Cruz and Trump over Hillary Clinton. Trump was favored over Sanders, as well, with 51 percent.

It’s a dead heat between Sanders and Cruz, however, with each candidate garnering 50 percent from Snap Poll respondents.

Much can change, of course, between now and the nominating conventions. In 2008 and 2012, Iowa Democrats favored Barack Obama, who won both the nomination and the general election each year. By contrast, the state’s Republicans backed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the 2008 caucus and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania in 2012; neither became the GOP standard-bearer.

For both parties this year, the candidates’ electability in November’s election has been hotly debated.

More than 1,180 readers participated in this week’s poll, conducted Jan. 25 and 26. They were asked who would have their vote in four potential matchups.

If the 2016 presidential election were held today, and the candidates were Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Ted Cruz, who would have your vote?

Ted Cruz:  51%  Hillary Clinton:  49%

If the 2016 presidential election were held today, and the candidates were Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, who would have your vote?

Donald Trump:  51%  Hillary Clinton:  49%

If the 2016 presidential election were held today, and the candidates were Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Ted Cruz, who would have your vote?

Bernie Sanders:  50%  Ted Cruz:  50%

If the 2016 presidential election were held today, and the candidates were Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump, who would have your vote?

Donald Trump :  51%  Bernie Sanders:  49%

What is your political affiliation?

Democrat:  25% Republican:  32%  Non-affiliated: 38%  Other:  5%

COMMENTS:
Anyone but Hillary! She belongs in an orange jumpsuit in a medium-security federal facility!
—Al Kempf, Fairport

Used to be a Republican, but after we elected a House and Senate with majorities, absolutely nothing has been done to contain the statist march of our leaders. My vote has to go to either Cruz or Trump. Frankly, anyone but Clinton or Sanders. The first is a corrupt criminal and the second an avowed socialist. One only has to look at history to see that not one country has succeeded when adopting socialism.
—Art Elting, Palmyra

Unfortunately, like most of the recent presidential elections, the question comes down to whom I dislike the least. I don’t like liars the most, so Clinton is out. I don’t like socialism, so Bernie is out. I don’t like narcissists, but to be president you need a little of that—but you should not be an out-of-touch rich guy. Cruz has some points I like, but I actually think Trump may be more electable by those fed up with “Washington as usual” and can he really do more harm than Obama? I think not.
—Mark Williams

Of course, either Clinton or Sanders must be kept out of the White House. There are better Republicans in the field than Trump and Cruz. (Ohio Gov. John) Kasich, (former Florida Gov. Jeb) Bush or (U.S. Sen. Marco) Rubio would be excellent choices.
—Jim Cronin, Classic Fashion Resources Inc.

Pretty much an “ABC-T decision.” (ANYONE but Cruz or Trump!)
—Mike Haugh

My preference is (former New York City Mayor) Michael Bloomberg, but that choice wasn’t available.
—Paul Jaynes

There are more than two parties, you know.
—Matthew D. Wilson

My impression is that John Kasich and (Former Maryland Gov.) Martin O’Malley are actually the best candidates still seeking the nominations of their parties. In order to preserve Roe v. Wade, I will vote for any Democrat since none of the Republicans will preserve this right through their Supreme Court nominations.
—Michael L. Harf

After watching the Democratic Town Hall on Jan. 26, there is no question as to where the leadership should be drawn from as our next president. Even the governor of Maryland fared well, and I would vote for him vs. Trump, Cruz, Rubio, (Ben) Carson or (N.J. Gov. Chris) Christie. The Republicans’ rhetoric and storylines are doing them in, and even if they were to win, it might be another 20 years before they win again. They are definitely not in touch with the times and the needs of this country and the world. Said another way, both Kasich and (former Florida Gov. Jeb) Bush gained ground on the Republican frontrunners based on their more moderate, mature, dignified, and knowledgeable experience and either would stand a better chance of beating the Democrats.
—Bill Wynne, Fairport

What happened to the Bernie Sanders/Hillary Clinton choice? And where is Marco Rubio?
—Jay Ross

This should be interesting. The uber-conservative RBJ members are caught between a rock and a hard place. Vote for total nut jobs or the two competent, stable, experienced Democrats. I cannot wait to see the results of this poll.
—Eve Elzenga, Eve Elzenga Design

What’s your point? Why limit the choices before a single vote is cast? There are several candidates I could support, and three of your choices aren’t one of them!
—Tom Zimmerman, Z2 Architecture, Canandaigua

Are those the only choices? I’m still hoping that John Kasich pulls out a victory, even though his chances are slim. He’s far and away the best of the lot when it comes to presidential material: both legislative and executive experience, and a proven ability to get things accomplished.
—Steve Hooper, Health Economics Group Inc.

A lot if “ifs” here, and school is still out on who could lead this nation back to the greatness it once possessed!
—J.A. DePaolis, Penfield

This is a pathetic representation of the field.
—Devin Michaels, Chili

This poll needs a choice of mine of these. What we need is statesman not a politician, someone to comprise and find common ground. End the polarizing splits and begin building bridges. If I had to choose today, Bernie Sanders maybe is the best choice.
—Daniel Herpst

Yegads! Those are the only choices? Aren’t there about a dozen Republicans in the race? As an independent, I wonder why those of us who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal don’t have a dog in this fight.
—John Calia, Fairport

“None of the above.” “TBD.” Is there a third party choice? For the Democrats, the choice is between your eccentric grandfather who you love and respect, but would never listen to about a career choice and a person who you don’t like or trust, but you may not have another choice. For the Republicans, the debates are like watching “Pee Wee’s Playhouse.” Is there any question which has been answered directly yet? The Republicans give us a choice between a bigot and a guy who is smart as hell, but can’t get along with anyone he works with and a half-dozen guys who aren’t even impressive enough to knock off the bigot or the guy who can’t play with other kids in the sandbox. Please, please, please get me another name next to the box to check.
—Jay Birnbaum

Because of the “winner-takes-all” Electoral College procedure, all New York State delegates cast their ballots for the Democratic candidate anyway. That’s the way it has been ever since New York turned deep blue some 10 or so presidential elections ago. If our delegates were allowed to cast ballots district-by-district, like the Nebraska and Maine delegates, things would be a lot different, and much fairer in my opinion.
—Tom Shea, Thomas P. Shea Agency Inc.

A Hillary win (if she doesn’t end up in jail) would be like a third Obama term. Nothing good could come from that. More debt, more handouts, more inept foreign policy. A Sanders win would turn the U.S. into a gigantic version of Venezuela! Who wants that? The Democrats have had their turn, gotten everything they wanted, and it is a total failure. Time to go in the other direction. I have watched all the debates. Any one of the Republican field would be a better choice than what the Democrats are offering up.
—George Thomas, Ogden

I’m a Conservative (my vote usually goes Republican, the party of the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln) and my vote will go for the only conservatives in the race: Ted Cruz or Mario Rubio. If it does come down to Donald Trump vs. the Democrat candidate, I will vote for “The Donald” because elections have consequences, as we have seen for the past two elections.
—Clifford Jacobson M.D., Vanguard Psychiatric Services PC

I vote straight Democrat. I am a yellow dog Democrat. I would vote for a yellow dog if the Democratic Party ran one for dog catcher.
—Stephen French

One thing I do know, is that I don’t trust Hillary at all! Notable examples: A) Fired from the Watergate investigation for her unethical behavior. Considering the circumstances, how bad could her behavior have been? B) Whitewater scandal. C) Travelgate. D) Filegate. E) Chinagate. F) Hillary could have been charged with grand larceny when she tried to take priceless items from the White House with her on their departure in 2001. G) Lying about being under sniper fire in Bosnia. H) Saying she wants equal pay and treatment for women when she was paying her male staffers more or when she’s catering to countries that treat their women like 2nd class, but are pouring money into the Clinton Foundation, but I guess that must be different. I) Saying that women that are sexually harassed or assaulted should be believed, except all those that slick Willy harassed or assaulted. J) Benghazi (when the phone rings at 3 a.m., who do you want to answer? Riiiiiiight!)Too bad it wasn’t Seal Team Six. K) Hillary’s e-mail scandal that includes an e-mail to a subordinate on how to declassify a top secret email so she could receive it on her personal server; and I’m sure there are many things we haven’t heard about.
—B. Moser

This is really not a good poll. I’m a Republican, so have not decided which candidate I want from our party. I am looking for a candidate who will reduce the size of government. We have too many failed programs that roll along year after year. We have too many new regulations coming from every direction, that are killing economic growth. (Example: We have an ethanol requirement for gasoline that reduces auto mileage by 10 percent, costing every American who drives a car hundreds of dollars a year and increasing air pollution. This only benefits the big money people in the ethanol lobby.) So I am looking for a president who will make these cuts and stand up to the Washington establishment. Ted Cruz might. Donald Trump will negotiate with them, because he doesn’t seem to stand for any particular principles. Nobody better represents the Washington establishment than Hillary, so she is out. Bernie Sanders is a socialist who wants more regulation and taxes. (Bernie seems unaware that socialism has failed every time it has been tried.) There are a couple of other Republicans who might accomplish what I am praying for, but they are not part of this poll.
—Dennis Ditch

1/29/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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