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Poll: Kasich would beat Clinton, Sanders in Pa.

Tom Fontaine
| Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 7:09 a.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich gives Republicans the only chance to win the White House in November, but Pennsylvania Republicans like their party's two other presidential candidates better, a poll released Wednesday shows.

“Can you be mired in third place among Pennsylvania Republicans and still be your party's best bet come Election Day? Welcome to Gov. John Kasich's world, where the big prize is tantalizingly close, but blocked by two candidates with the same goal,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

The poll shows businessman Donald Trump leading among likely Republican primary voters with 39 percent, followed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz with 30 percent and Kasich with 24 percent. Seven percent of Republicans are undecided, and 27 percent say they might change their mind before Pennsylvania's April 26 primary.

Malloy said Kasich will “have to grow wings pretty soon” if he wants to win in Pennsylvania.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is ahead of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, 50 percent to 44 percent. Six percent of Democrats are undecided, and 22 percent say they might change their mind.

Despite Kasich's third-place showing among Republicans, the poll shows he would trounce Clinton by 16 percentage points and Sanders by 6 percentage points. Trump loses to both Clinton and Sanders, while Cruz ties Clinton and loses to Sanders, the poll shows.

Malloy said Pennsylvania is an important swing state in presidential elections, along with Ohio and Florida. Since 1960, no candidate has won the presidential race without winning in at least two of the three states. In addition to Pennsylvania, polls show Kasich leading Clinton and Sanders in Ohio, a state he represented for nine terms in Congress and now serves as governor.

The poll of 1,737 Pennsylvania voters, conducted March 30 to April 4, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

Tom Fontaine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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