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Sanders, Kasich lead General Election, remain most favorable

U.S. Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses a crowd of more than 8,000 supporters at UMASS Amherst in February

U.S. Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses a crowd of more than 8,000 supporters at UMASS Amherst in February

HAMDEN, CT – A newly released poll from Quinnipiac University shows Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Republican hopeful John Kasich in the lead in head to head battle if chosen as nominees at the parties’ July conventions.

Front-runners, Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and New York real estate mogul, Donald Trump hold the lead in primary polling, but come up short, behind their challengers in November.

According to the poll, conducted March 16 – 21, Clinton and Trump are clear leaders in Republican and Democratic primaries nationwide. Clinton held a 12 point lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 50-38 percent as of the March 23 release.

Trump leads the trio of Republican candidates by a wide margin at 43 percent over Sen. Ted Cruz at 29 percent. Ohio Governor John Kasich took 16 percent of the vote.

Underdogs top the leaderboard in November

The University’s independent poll showed Sanders and Kasich besting the frontrunners in head-to-head general election match-ups among all American voters. The two underdogs topped other candidates by wide margins and were locked in a dead heat with each other.

Sanders was the most favorable candidate overall with a 50 percent favorability rating. Twelve percent of voters said they hadn’t heard enough about Sanders to make a determination. Sanders favorability was high, reaching above 40 percent in all age groupings between ages 18 -64, taking 65 percent of the vote in the 18-34 age group, 52 percent in the 35-49 age group, and 45 percent in the 50-64 age group.

The New England Senator also scored top numbers across demographics with men at 42 percent, women at 49 percent, white voters at 45 percent and non-white voters at 63 percent.

A congressional leader for near 30 years, Sanders favorability among Democrats polled was 47 percent and among Independents he topped the board at 55 percent. Clinton’s favorability among Independents was 10 percent.

Kasich garnered a 43 percent favorability rating. Kasich topped the 65+ age group with a 56 percent favorability rating, compared to Trump at 42 percent and Cruz at 36 percent. 

Fmr. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stumps for Gina Raimondo at RIC in October. Raimondo who touted Clinton as "my idol" went on to win the election. (Photo Tracey C. O'Neill/Tracey C. Online Photography)

Fmr. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stumps for Gina Raimondo at RIC in October. Raimondo who touted Clinton as “my idol” went on to win the election. (Photo Tracey C. O’Neill/Tracey C. Online Photography)

Frontrunners remain unfavorable

Clinton, Trump and Cruz each received negative favorability ratings, with none of them climbing above the 40 percent favorable mark. Cruz was the least favorable candidate with only 32 percent favorability, Trump landed at 33 percent and Clinton at 39 percent.

Head to head poll results revealed the following:
  • Sanders bests Trump 52 – 38 percent;
  • Clinton beats Trump 46 – 40 percent;
  • Sanders bests Cruz 50 – 39 percent;
  • Clinton beats Cruz  45 – 42 percent;
  • Kasich bests Clinton 47 – 39 percent;
  • Kasich tops Sanders 45 – 44 percent.

The university polled 1,451 registered voters nationwide, inclusive of  652 Republicans (MOE +/-3.8) and 635 Democrats (MOE of +/- 3.9) percentage points.

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