Do Republican elites prefer Trump to Cruz? Maybe not

“When a candidate openly embraces white supremacist supporters, that’s a clear line in the sand,” said Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini, referring to the fact that Trump is supported by white nationalists and has elevated them on social media. “Anyone sensible trying to prop up Trump in Iowa is playing a dangerous, dangerous game.”

Ruffini continued: “Iowa is Trump’s toughest state of the first four, and presents a golden opportunity to weaken him. If Trump loses Iowa, we might actually get to have an argument about whether the party should nominate Cruz or someone from the establishment lane. But that won’t be the debate unless Trump is dealt with first.”…

Doug Heye, a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee, singled out Trump in an op-ed earlier this month as the candidate he “cannot support,” even if he won the nomination, attributing it to the New Yorker’s “perversion of conservatism, along with the devastating impact he would have if nominated.”

Republican lobbyist and veteran strategist Ed Rogers also prefers the Texan to the New Yorker. “He is a real Republican,” Rogers said of Cruz in an e-mail. “Proven commitment to conservative principles. Not irrational or an egomaniac.”