I would want Link, however more people know Mario because it was the first real thing from Nintendo and is good for small kids. As much as Zelda is my favorite Mario has always been the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Nintendo.
Even though I like Zelda more than Mario now, they should definitely keep it at Mario. Mario came before Zelda, and the first game sold 40 million copies and saved the entire gaming industry. Plus, Mario has been their mascot from the beginning, so that change would be unethical. Imagine if Sega changed Sonic as their mascot, like to Super Monkey Ball. It wouldn't do well.
I think Mario should stay the primary mascot because the Mario franchise does represent the company better than the Zelda franchise does. With Mario characters appearing in all kinds of titles, from the main series, to off-shoot titles, to sports and party games, Mario really covers the spread.
I forget where I read it, but at one point Mario himself was counted to have appeared in over 200 Nintendo games. This included cameos, and bit parts such as his stint as a boxing ref and such. Link's made a few cameos, but really, nothing close to Mario's staggering total.
So while I love Zelda through and through, I don't think Zelda, Link or the LoZ franchise really deserves to be top-dog in terms of a singluar mascot.
Now, when it comes to Nintendo as a group mascot, I really do believe Zelda's go a place. I think the big three, Mario, Link and Samus, really represent the spread of types of games. It better represents the "hardcore" gaming aspect of cartoon / platforming, adventure / fantasy, and action / sci-fi. So, while a single mascot should always be Mario, mutiple mascots should be the Big Three.
What reason is there to change it, really? What has changed that makes Mario less fitting of a mascot than Link? Zelda is a major series for Nintendo, but not really less so than Mario is. Mario was Nintendo's big hit, as has already been stated, and it's still one of their biggest and best selling series.
I don't see any reason why things have changes so that Mario shouldn't be Nintendo's mascot. There is literally no problem with him being one.
Mario is in far more games than Link and is an icon at this point. Show a non-gamer a picture of Mario, and they'll know who it is. Show a non-gamer a picture of Link, and you're likely to get one of two answers: "Who is that?" or, an answer that makes me cringe, "Zelda".
I prefer Zelda to Mario, but just because I like one more than the other is not a reason to switch mascots. Mario is more family friendly and started everything for Nintendo as a gaming company. Mario is the best selling video game franchise of all time, and as long as that remains, Mario should stay put.
It should stsa Mario.
To most non gamers Mario is far more well known.
He has his name attached to so many things.
There was a Mario film,he also has been in so many types of games.
You even see him in games like OoT in a picture in Hyrule castle.
Mario is more than a game character he is as famous as bugs bunny or any any other big disney character.
As much as I like Link, I must say that Mario should be kept the mascot of Nintendo. If Link had been before Mario, I might think differently (or is it?). However, even so, I feel Mario is better suited to be the role of mascot.