Trump, Sanders Top Reader Survey Among Presidential Candidates

By on January 27, 2016 in Current Events with 39 Comments
Image of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

As the presidential selection process moves forward during an election year, we occasionally poll our readers to see which candidates they would prefer to be our next president. Federal employees all work for the president and will be directly impacted in their work lives by the results of the election. With the first election results coming in in the very near future, we asked readers for their preference among the current candidates running for President of the United States.

On the Democratic side, readers showed a preference for Bernie Sanders, the former Independent Senator from Vermont who is now running for president as a Democrat. He received 21% of the votes vs. 19% for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Among Republican contenders for the nomination, businessman Donald Trump came out on top with 32% and Senator Ted Cruz came in second with 11%.

All Respondents

Among all respondents, here are the top selections for the Democratic nominee for president. The totals for each candidate have been rounded off.

  • Bernie Sanders: 21%
  • Hillary Clinton: 19%
  • Martin O’Malley: 3%
  • I would not vote for a Democratic candidate: 55%
  • Other Democratic candidate: 2%

Here are the results for the Republican candidate preferences among all respondents:

  • Donald Trump: 32
  • Ted Cruz: 11%
  • Marco Rubio: 8%
  • Rand Paul: 7%
  • John Kasich: 5%
  • Chris Christie: 4%
  • Ben Carson: 3%
  • Jeb Bush: 3%
  • Carly Fiorina: 1%
  • Mike Huckabee: 1%
  • Rick Santorum: 1%
  • I would not vote for a Republican candidate: 23%
  • Other Republican candidate: <1%

Democrat Voters

Among respondents who identified themselves as Democrats, the results broke down this way:

  • Hillary Clinton: 53%
  • Bernie Sanders: 37%
  • Martin O’Malley: 2%
  • I would not vote for a Democratic candidate: 7%
  • Other candidate: 1%

And interestingly, some of these self-identified Democrats said they would vote for Republican candidates. Here are the largest vote-getters (rounded numbers) among Democrats who would vote Republican:

  • Donald Trump: 12%
  • John Kasich: 6%
  • Marco Rubio: 4%
  • Chris Christie: 3%
  • Ted Cruz: 1%
  • I would not vote for a Republican candidate: 67%

Republican Voters

Among respondents who identified themselves as Republicans, the results (rounded) came out as follows:

  • Donald Trump: 44%
  • Ted Cruz: 19%
  • Marco Rubio: 13%
  • Rand Paul: 6%
  • Ben Carson: 5%
  • Chris Christie: 4%
  • Jeb Bush: 3%
  • Carly Fiorina: 1%
  • Mike Huckabee: 1%
  • Rick Santorum: 1%
  • I would not vote for a Republican candidate: 1%

Less than 1% of Republicans specified any of the other candidates..

These were the selections among the Democratic candidates for respondents who identified themselves as Republicans:

  • Bernie Sanders: 6%
  • Hillary Clinton: 2%
  • Martin O’Malley: 2%
  • Other Democratic candidate: 1%
  • I would not vote for a Democratic candidate: 88%

Independent Voters

Elections are often determined by independent voters. Among the federal workforce, those who call themselves independent voters are the largest bloc of voters.

Among independents, here are their stated preferences (rounded off) for the Democratic candidate:

  • Bernie Sanders: 27%
  • Hillary Clinton: 15%
  • Martin O’Malley: 4%
  • Other Democratic candidate: 2%
  • I would not vote for a Democratic candidate: 53%

Here are the preferences for a Republican candidate among these independent voters:

  • Donald Trump: 35%
  • Ted Cruz: 11%
  • Marco Rubio: 8%
  • John Kasich: 8%
  • Rand Paul: 6%
  • Ben Carson: 3%
  • Jeb Bush: 4%
  • Chris Christie: 4%
  • Carly Fiorina: 2%
  • Rick Santorum: <1%
  • Mike Huckabee: <1%
  • Other Republican candidate: 1%
  • I would not vote for a Republican candidate: 18%

Current vs. Retired Federal Employees

Here are the preferences for the Democratic candidates among current and retired federal employees:

Retired Federal Employee Preferences Current Federal Employee Preferences
Bernie Sanders 22% Bernie Sanders 22%
Hillary Clinton 21% Hillary Clinton 20%
Martin O’Malley 3% Martin O’Malley 3%
I would not vote for a Democratic candidate 51% I would not vote for a Democratic candidate 54%
Other 2% Other 2%

These are the preferences for the Republican candidates for president among these two groups of voters:

Retired Federal Employee Preferences Current Federal Employee Preferences
Donald Trump 31% Donald Trump 35%
Ted Cruz 10% Ted Cruz 12%
Marco Rubio 9% Marco Rubio 8%
John Kasich 9% John Kasich 4%
Chris Christie 4% Ben Carson 4%
Jeb Bush 4% Chris Christie 4%
Ben Carson 2% Jeb Bush 3%
Rand Paul 1% Rand Paul 3%
Carly Fiorina 1% Carly Fiorina 1%
Mike Huckabee <1% Mike Huckabee <1%
Rick Santorum <1% Rick Santorum <1%
 I would not vote for a Republican candidate 26% I would not vote for a Republican candidate 24%
Other Republican candidate 1% Other Republican candidate <1%

The results from this latest poll reflect changes with the last poll we took of our users in September. Donald Trump has increased his lead on Republican side for all respondents and Hillary Clinton has moved closer to Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side. Ben Carson has dropped dramatically among the choice for voters since September while Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have moved up among the candidates among the Republican choices.

Our thanks to all of our users who took the time to share their feedback in this latest poll. As the election process progresses and the list of candidates becomes more narrow, we will continue to take the pulse of the federal community in similar surveys.

© 2016 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

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About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources.

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