Republicans are eager to win back the White House in 2016. A new Fox News national poll finds both John Kasich and Ted Cruz ahead of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in hypothetical matchups, while Donald Trump trails her.
Kasich does best against Clinton. He has a double-digit advantage and also comes in above the 50 percent mark: 51 percent to Clinton’s 40 percent.
Cruz is preferred over Clinton by three percentage points (47-44 percent).
Clinton tops GOP front-runner Donald Trump by 11 points (49-38 percent).
The Ohio governor’s advantage comes mostly from independents; they support him over Clinton by 36 points. Plus, Kasich steals the largest number of Democrats (17 percent).
Kasich and Cruz also outperform Trump against Bernie Sanders. The Democrat leads Trump by 14 points -- and tops Cruz by a narrower four-point margin. Kasich has a one-point edge over Sanders (44-43 percent).
Slightly more voters would be satisfied if the presidential race is ultimately a Clinton-Cruz matchup (72 percent satisfied with their candidate choices) than if it ends up being Clinton and Trump (67 percent satisfied).
If it is Clinton-Trump in November, more than four in 10 Cruz supporters say they would seriously consider voting for a third party candidate (34 percent) or just stay home (10 percent). (There are too few Kasich supporters to facilitate a comparable breakout.)
Overall, only 16 percent of voters would feel “enthusiastic” if Clinton were to become the next president. Even so, that’s enough for a “win” on this measure. Fourteen percent would feel “enthusiastic” about a Sanders win, and 13 percent each about a Cruz or Trump win.
Almost half of all voters would feel “scared” if Trump (49 percent) were to win the White House, while 33 percent say the same about Clinton. Trump has the largest number of Republicans saying they would feel scared if he wins (25 percent), while Kasich has the smallest (7 percent).
More Republicans would feel “enthusiastic” or “pleased” with a Cruz win (57 percent), than with a Kasich (48 percent) or Trump (51 percent) victory.
By comparison, 72 percent of Democrats would feel “enthusiastic” or “pleased” if Clinton won. And Sanders is close behind at 61 percent.
Kasich is the only candidate who receives more positive reactions (enthusiastic/pleased) to him winning than negative ones (displeased/scared). In addition, more voters -- some 37 percent -- would feel “neutral” about him becoming president than say the same of any other candidate.
When it comes to picking justices for the U.S. Supreme Court, majorities of Americans feel confident with Kasich (62 percent), Cruz (55 percent), and Sanders (54 percent). Half feel confident about Clinton (50 percent) making those decisions, and fewer than 4 in 10 say the same about Trump (38 percent).
Honest & Trustworthy
The two current front-runners are also battling for the worst honesty ratings: 64 percent of voters say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, while 65 percent feel that way about Trump.
Some 34 percent say Clinton is honest (a new low) and 64 percent say she’s not (a new high) -- for a net negative honesty rating of 30 points. Trump’s net rating is about the same (-32 points).
Cruz (+2 points), Kasich (+38 points), and Sanders (+39 points) each get positive honesty scores.
Sanders (+71 points) dwarfs Clinton (+39 points) on net honesty among self-identified Democrats.
Among self-identified Republicans, each of the GOP candidates has a net positive honesty score, yet there is significant range in the scores: Kasich (+58 points), Cruz (+40 points), and Trump (+14 points).
When the two leading major party candidates are distrusted by a majority of voters, it’s no wonder 82 percent of voters say they are nervous about American politics, while 11 percent are feeling confident.
Nearly three times as many are confident about the economy today (30 percent).
To be sure, people still have economic jitters: 61 percent are nervous about the economy, up a bit from 55 percent a year ago (March 2015). Nervousness hit a high of 70 percent in 2010.
Republicans are about twice as likely as Democrats to feel nervous about the economy, however roughly 8 in 10 Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike are worried about American politics.
Some 49 percent of Democrats are confident about the economy, down from 61 percent last year.
Most Republicans continue to feel uneasy: 81 percent now compared to 75 percent in 2015.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,016 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from March 20-22, 2016. The full sample has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.