The Iowa caucuses kick the U.S. presidential race into another gear today, as both parties get their first look at where the 2016 candidates really stand in the race for the Republican and Democratic nominations.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump puts his campaign to the test, with polls showing a tight battle with Ted Cruz that could hinge on turnout and a large bloc of undecided voters.

On the Democratic side, frontrunner Hillary Clinton faces a stiff challenge from Bernie Sanders in the state-by-state battle to pick candidates for the Nov. 8 election to succeed President Barack Obama.

Which candidates would be the best for Canada? Readers gave us their choices and the reasons behind them in the latest CBC Forum — a live, hosted discussion about issues affecting Canada.

(Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the username to see the full comment in the blog format.)

Bernie Sanders (the most commonly preferred candidate in the forum)

"Out of the entire bunch he is by far less confrontational, actually argues based on facts and not ideological posturing, and is not so openly pro-corporate." — Fennec

"Although perhaps not as pretty as the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, he definitely has his ear to the track of progress." — Darren

​"He will go after the banks, Wall Street, one percenters and help fight the rising income/wealth inequality that is taking over North America." — Mallus

Hillary Clinton

"In my opinion there is only one candidate with the brains, the experience and the knowledge and that is Hillary Clinton." — Robbie Canuck

John Kasich

"​Kasich would be extremely pragmatic regarding economic policy, open to free trade with Canada, [has a] very big history with oil as governor of Ohio, doesn't deny climate change, [and is] pro-military and intervention against ISIS." — Hamish Wright

Donald Trump

"Trump, being a businessman, might at least try to get the economy going as opposed to the current effort to destroy it. That will be good for Canada as they are still our biggest market." — Rebel East

"Businesses, in a monetary system, go where they can make money. Not where money is given away or where they're going to pay out the behind for taxes and stricter regulations. This is why I would choose Trump." — Free Enterprise

Rand Paul

"He would end the drug war, which would have a significant impact on incarceration rates and public safety — getting it out of the hands of organized crime rings that often spill over to Canada." - hayekfavon

You can read the full discussion below, including a Q&A with polling expert Éric Grenier.

Can't see the forum? Click here. 

With files from Reuters