This is the pre-presidential season, when political activists let loose with all kinds of feisty opinions. Many volunteered their personal views in recent Washington Post polls of delegates to the 1976 national conventions. Topic A, of course, was the current White House tenant -- but everybody was fair game after that. We offer, then, an unscientific sampling of opinions from people who may help pick next presidential condidates.

The Democrats

I think President Carter has been a total disaster as president. The economy is a complete mess. If inflation is not brought under control it will destroy this country. Labor unions are a major cause of inflation. They receive huge wage increase with little or no increase in production of efficiency.

Carter's dealings with Congress have been a complete failure. His advisers appear to be provincial if not ignorant. Jimmy Carter does not seem to have the ability to lead people. I think he is an honest man who is out of his league. I made a mistake in supporting him in 1976. I do not plan to repeat that mistake in 1980.

William J. Hill, Jr. (illinois)

I was elected a delegate to the 1976 Democratic National convention from Minnesota committed to the candidacy of Hubert H. Humphrey. I was strongly opposed to the candidacy of Jimmy Cater.

But in the last nine months, I have begun to be impressesed with the way he is handing the presidency, his success in several very important aspects of foreign policy, specificaly the Middle East peace treaty, and him commitment to obtaining a SALT treaty with the Soviet Union; and the courageous but politically difficult decisions he has made on domestic policy, i.e., the decision to decontrol regulation of the oil and natural gas industry, and his commitment to reducing the federal deficit and the rate of federal spending as the best means of controlling inflation.

Most important, in the area of character and integirty. Mr. Carter scores overwhelmingly above that of any individual being considered for president in either party.

Steve Wenzel (Minnestoa)

Kennedy seems to be the only candidate [or non-cididate] for president who could mold the Democratic Party back into shape. Carter has failed the country, and old-line Democrats are ready to abandon him rather than relinquish the party's hold on the presidency. As a friend of the Kennedy family for years, I would strongly urge Teddy to run . . . for the sake of the country.

Charles Evers [Mississippi]

If Ted Kennedy or Jerry Brown are nominated in 1980, I will probably vote for the Republican in November.

We must have nuclear energy despite the recent Three Mile Island incident and I live within 10 miles of TMI.

Carter is still the most qualified man we have to be president.

Willam E. Sacra [Pennsylvania]

With the continued growth of the multi-national corporations, does it really matter any more who is president!

Ruth Marcus [Michigan]

I believe that Jimmy Carter is intelligent, industrious and, most important, a man of integrity.

The Congress with which he had to work is a lackluster, gutless group who somehow feel that supporting a president is tantamount to losing one's individuality. I get the feeling that members of Congress have the notion that once they become members of Congress that they are in an adversary role against the executive branch.

William F. Bell [Connecticut]

The "baloney" comment, more than anything else, was the last straw. Deregulation of gas and oil will cripple those who need help the most, particularly in the Northeast. I never dreamed that the man I worked for in 1976 would become the oil lobby's best friend. In many cases I almost feel as thought we have a Republican president.

John T. Alden [Florida]

I feel the American people, particularly some segments of the press, have become too cynical and hard to please when it comes to our nation's leaders.

In President Carter, I feel we have a leader who is honest, extremely inteligent, and possesses a vision for our country's furture that I share.

John J. Joyce [Pennsylvania]

To tell you the truth I'm sick of it all! Everyting is based on political games and rhetoric, and I'm feeling so helpless and frustrated. I work harder but my paycheck gets smaller. I buy an economy car to save on gas and now they tell me there'll be no gas. Etc., etc. What's a person to do?

Pat A. Brown [Indiana]

Jerry brown, though bright, is an opportunist of the worst kind, while Ted Kennedy is just an opportunist. Since they can say what the public wants to hear, and ignore the hard facts of energy, economics and so on, Carter will have a tough time being renominated and re-elected. It's a pity.

Edward Leonard [Texas]

I am shocked, disappointed and amazed by the position which the president has taken on labor matters, the energy crisis and inflation. I am of the opinion that the American people are being ripped off by the greedy oil companies. As for inflation, substitute the word greed for inflation. Yes, greed by corporations for bigger and bigger profits, as evidenced by the first quarter reports of the corporations of this country.

On labor, while the president has what he calls a voluntary policy of holding pay increases to 7 1/2 ercent, there are no checks on any other segment of our population, only on working people. A few years ago, I never thought that I would see anything like this in this country.

Frank Podsiadlik [Pennsylvania]

The president is doing a much better job than I had expected. Congress needs to get in step!

Rechard G. Dick [Virginia]

I believe that President Carter is making use of his executive position to induce the best out of Congress, special interest groups and the American people in general. President Carter's approach is intrinsically a slow but enduring healing process. I believe it is a bold initiative in the right direction.

Katy Wood [Delaware]

I'm not sure anyone could have done the job any better. I preceive Brown to be a flake and am afraid of what a Brown administration would do. What is the mystique of Ted Kennedy? The media and opposing party would crucify him for his past indiscretions, his family instability, etc. Why rehash the past!

Ellie Enriquez Peck [California]

Sometimes one because so bored with the same old politicians that I thought it might be great if we had Woody Allen as our leader. Think of the possibilities!

Mary Jane Kelly [New Jersey]

The Carter administration has no basic understanding of the real problems being faced nor any realistic programs to deal with them. This is the tragedy of the United States in this period, for so much can be done to improve our life standards that is not being done.

Milton J. Shapp [Pennsylvania]

I think the president is doing a good job and I wish the press would stay off his back. Ruth H. Helms [North Carolina]

I was the first delegate in Nebraska to commit to Jimmy Carter. He has been the greatest disappointment of my brief political carreer.

Clarence Davis, Jr. [Nebraska]

The republicans

Ronald reagan's election to the presidency in 1980 appears to be our country's last chance to avert economic disaster at home and a subservient posture in our foreign relations. Our way of life and our basic moral and economic values will be at stake in 1980.

Reese H. Taylor Jr. [Nevada]

John Connally is the one man who can beat Teddy and Jimmy.

Willard O. Forbes [Virginia]

I think Reagan-Connally ticket would be very hard to beat. I think they would turn this country around and we would be the No.1 country in the world.

Mary M. Jackson [Texas]

Reagan: too old. My problem is not with the governor but with some of his followers who are ideological purists, rule-or-ruin types for whom no one [Goldwater, Bill Buckley, whomever] is quite conservative enough.

Connally: LBJ'S clone. can you imagine a Connally-Kennedy debate on the issue of integrity?)

Baker: The whole is less than the sum of the parts.

Bush: The question is: Can a gentleman still be elected president? After the Carter debacle, I think the country's ready for one. Bush is the campaign's real sleeper.

Roger P. Cambell [Pennsylvania]

I am totally committed to Ronald Reagan and would probably not actively work for the Republican nominee if it is not Reagan.

E.M. Gingrich [California]

I am ashamed of myself for being so pessimistic about the economic political situtation of our nation. A national disaster in the form of a war or depression is all I see that can turn the direction toward socialism that our government is reacing in.

C.E. Peterson [Utah]

We need to cut out all foreign aid, or better yet start asking for it.

Sam M. Laughlin [New Mexico]

I have placed Bob Dole as my first choice as I know him well and feel he would become an excellent president. However, he has an image problem from the last election when Ford handed him a hatchet while he played the high road.

J.Nick Gray [Missouri]

We need someone who can place the proper blame on Carter without sounding like Bob Dole.

Robert B. French [alabama]

This is an exciting and desperate time to be a Republican. It is exciting because for the first time in over 30 years we [Republicans] have an excellent chance of defeating an incumbent president. It is desperate because we must win. Jimmy Carter has as much idea of how to be president as I do of being an astronaut.

Bryan Wagner [Louisiana]

The old ideologic rift in the Republican Party is now of little importance. All the candidates will speak almost in a single voice. Issues will count for little. Preceptions of personality will count for everything. That's why I think Connally will win -- and win big. What he has said or done in the past will be unimportant.

Ray L. Garland [Virginia]

John Connally, as a presidential candidate, will only open old GOP wounds. The media would love to jab away and rehash the old news headlines.

Doris M. Russell [Maine]

The fact that many of we "New Right" conservatives are supporting Phil Crane can in no way be interprected as an anti-Reagan sentiment. I would still be overjoyed to see Reagan take it.

Steven Antosh [Oklahoma]

I like Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's remark on being called a reactionary: "There is a lot to react against." The people are reacting against inflation, government regulations, the energy crisis [I believe it's real, but most people don't], and how far we can trust the Soviets with a SALT treaty. John F. Kemp, Gen. Haig or Crane could be the sleeper of 1980.

Jack C. Hunter [Ohio]

The greatest thing that could happen to this country is not election of a president, but a Congress that would pass laws abolishing about 1,000,000 bureaucratic jobs in Washington. It wouldn't matter too much who is president if you had the right kind of Congress.

H.E. Richardson [Kentucky]

The greatest hope for the survival of this nation may rest in the election of Ronald Reagan as president. To think otherwise is economic idiocy.

George O. Miles [Kansas]

All questions concerning political parties have little meaning because there is so much variation in the beliefs and actions of political leaders. This is especially so in the GO.

John A. Wilkinson [North Carolina]

I believe that the nominating of Ronald Reagan is the Republican Party's last chance. More importantly, the election of the former California governor is our last chance as a nation of strength and individual freedom.

Steve Schalk [New Mexico]

I truly believe a Howard Baker-Jack Kemp ticket to be unbeatable at this time.

Del Case [Minnesota]

Howard Baker would be one of the weaker candidates because of his weak leadership and his vote on the Panama Canal treaty.

George L. Clardy [Georgia]

i hate to see the GOP get "tunnel vision" every presidential election. Everyone is more concerned about presidential politics than local, state and other national officers. The culprits, as far as I am concerned, are in Congress.

In general, I am very concerned about the kind of people that are running the Republican Party at the national level. As a former compaign manager to a Republican candiate for the U.S. Congress [in 1978], I personally witnessed the "cat and mouse" games the political "hacks" play at RNC with money, favors and friends.

I would like to see more Republicans devote their time and money to state and local organizations instead of giving to that bloated Republican bureaucracy known as RNC.

Russ Darbyshire [New Mexico]

Brock is doing a good job in rebuilding the party. Ford and Reagan are too old to run.

B.H. Danskin [New Jersey]

There is an unbelievable lack of leadership in the political arena from Congress to the White House. There is too much concern for preservation of self-interest -- few in Congress willing to look for or five years down the line. The president does not follow up on any statement, policy or program. Where the hell are all the "leaders"?

David C. Campbell [Rhode Island]