By Amanda Becker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Conservative presidential candidates hitting the 2016 campaign trail are firing up crowds with calls to shrink the U.S. government, but a new poll shows that Republican voters who rally to that cry still want to maintain many federal programs. Ideas such as abolishing the U.S. income tax and shifting many of the federal government's responsibilities to the states draw robust support from Republican voters, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. While many Americans, particularly Republicans and independents, favor decreasing government’s size and reach, specific policies for doing so are far less popular. Among Republicans, 51 percent support abolishing the U.S. federal income tax versus 39 percent who disagree. By 60 percent to 28 percent, Republicans said they believe state governments should have more authority than the federal government.
By Emily Stephenson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, launched a long-shot bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, a move likely to pressure Hillary Clinton from the left on issues from income inequality to corporate governance. "How do we create an economy that works for all of our people, rather than a small number of billionaires?" The 73-year-old, second-term senator faces long odds against the fund-raising might and name recognition of Clinton - the Democratic front-runner and former U.S. secretary of state, senator and first lady - to head the Democratic presidential slate in the November 2016 election. Sanders highlighted his fight against authorizing the Iraq war, which Clinton voted for as a senator, and his opposition to trade deals that liberals and labor unions fear could hurt American workers. Clinton has not expressed her position but said trade deals should help workers and protect U.S. security.