We want to run vs. Cruz, not Bush, say Democratic insiders in TheHill.com survey

The choice of insider Democrats for the Republican presidential nomination is Ted Cruz – they figure he’d be easier to beat, according to a survey by TheHill.com.

The Capitol Hill website surveyed Democratic insiders and found that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the Republican they least want to run against.

Cruz’s appeal has been largely to staunch conservatives. He launched his presidential candidacy at Liberty University, the Virginia school that teaches Christian values. Bush won two terms as governor of a diverse state and his views have leaned more to center-right.

“Unquestionably, without going into names, a more centrist Republican candidate is tougher to campaign against,” Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., told TheHill.com.

“All the polling shows us that the Republican brand is highly unpopular. A Republican who’s reflecting that brand all the way on the right is easy to win against. A Republican who plays against the brand is harder to win against.”

Not necessarily. A Quinnipiac University poll last month found Democratic front-runner HIllary Clinton ahead of prospective Republican nominees, but the differences were not big.

Her margins: 45 - 40 percent over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; 46 - 42 percent over Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; 47 - 42 percent over former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; 46 - 39 percent over Bush; 46 - 41 percent over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and 48 - 41 percent over Cruz.

Besides Bush, Democrats are also “wary” of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Marco Rubio, D-Fla. Rubio runs best against Clinton, with 43 percent to her 45 percent.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., told TheHill.com both Walker and Rubio would be “formidable opponents.”

Cruz, said some Democrats, would not be. “He’s a very talented and capable person,” said Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., “but his path to ascendency is to take (him) further right...”