“Oh God, yes,” said Ed Rogers, a top Republican lobbyist, when asked if he’d prefer Cruz. “Compared to Trump, he’s OK.”
Establishment Republicans had enough of a problem when Trump began his populist-fueled move to the top of national polls, where he has stubbornly remained for five months. But Cruz’s steady rise means that even if Trump were taken out by a well-financed negative campaign, they might have to deal with a stronger Cruz, who has more political polish than the more improvisational Trump.
“If you talk to my peers around town, collectively it’s an appreciation the guy is smart as hell,” explained a senior Washington Republican who is backing another candidate. “He can be a more acceptable alternative to Trump, if it comes to that.”…
But a leading Republican in frequent touch with high-level donors, said even though those contributors may despise Cruz, they are learning to live with him. “If that’s what we need to do to beat Trump,” the Republican said, “then that’s what you get.”