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Sanders 'most trusted' candidate in new poll

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders beats the most popular Republican White House hopefuls by margins as big or bigger than Hillary Clinton, according to a new Quinnipiac University Poll released on Dec. 2.

“The survey demonstrated Sanders’ remarkable strength as a general election candidate based on his enormous popularity among young voters, his standing as the most trusted candidate and his strength with independents,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, in a news release. “This is the latest evidence that Bernie is the most electable candidate the Democrats could nominate.”

Sanders “does just as well, or even better, against top Republicans” than Clinton, according to Douglas Schwartz, the Quinnipiac poll director.

Sanders led Donald Trump 49 percent to 41 percent. He held a 49 to 39 percent lead over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a 47 to 41 percent advantage over Ben Carson and a 44 to 43 percent edge over U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

When voters are asked whether they have a favorable or unfavorable view of candidates, Sanders is viewed more favorably than Clinton, Trump, Carson Rubio or Cruz, according to the independent pollster.

Sanders also gets the best honesty grades among top candidates. American voters say 60-36 percent that Clinton is not honest and trustworthy.Trump is not honest and trustworthy, voters say 59-35 percent. Sanders honesty grade is 59-28 percent, with Carson at 53-34 percent, Rubio at 49-33 percent and Cruz at 43-39 percent. 

Still, Clinton has widened her lead over Sanders 60-30 percent, compared to 53-35 percent in a Nov. 4 survey. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has 2 percent, with 6 percent undecided.

On the GOP side, the poll showed Trump is the undisputed leader. Carson, in a virtual tie with Trump four weeks ago, dropped to third place in the national survey. 

Trump gets 27 percent of Republican voters, with 17 percent for Rubio, 16 percent for Carson and Cruz and 5 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Among Republicans, 26 percent of voters say they "would definitely not support" Trump, with 21 percent who would not back Bush.

"It doesn't seem to matter what he says or who he offends, whether the facts are contested or the 'political correctness' is challenged, Donald Trump seems to be wearing Kevlar," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

He added that, at this stage, Clinton and Sanders should be hoping Trump is the nominee.

U.S. voters shift would shift to Clinton or Sanders if Trump won the Republican nomination.

Clinton beats Trump 47-41 percent.

Sanders beats Trump 49 - 41 percent.

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