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Case made for Ted Cruz vs. Elizabeth Warren in 2016

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Immigration,Barack Obama,Hillary Clinton,Massachusetts,Texas,2012 Elections,2016 Elections,Ted Cruz,Campaigns,Foreign Policy,Elizabeth Warren

Fans and advocates have been operating an underground effort to push their potential 2016 presidential candidacies for months, but now louder voices are helping to make the case for a White House matchup between Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Erick Erickson's RedState site on Monday raised the possibility of the political lightning rods emerging as the party nominees in the fall of 2016 in a detailed accounting of their backgrounds in which the site said they are in some ways “mirror Images.”

RedState blogger Dan McLaughlin noted that the two are new to the Senate, are “walking regional/ideological stereotypes” and are Harvard University-educated. He added that both are bright, more populist than wonky and are in high demand on the speaking circuit.

But it is the differences that could matter in a matchup. First, Cruz is given credit for having a stronger electoral record. For example, Cruz won Texas in 2012 by a wider margin than GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Warren didn't beat President Obama's margin.

Warren, said the popular conservative site, also has to beat Hillary Clinton. Cruz faces a more open primary, and he already polls near the top of potential candidates.

Cruz is also younger and would fit the age of typically elected presidents: Under 65. Warren would be 67 and Clinton 69.

And Cruz is building a foreign policy profile as Warren is focused on key domestic issues. That could matter if issues like U.S.-Russia relations, war in the Middle East and the immigration crisis are issues in 2016.

The bottom line: “Certainly both can have an impact on the policy debate within their own party by running, and Warren in particular could have a much larger impact if she runs than if she tries to play kingmaker/queenmaker in an effectively uncontested race. And it would be foolhardy to count either of them out, as a potential nominee or a potential president. That said, for all her weaknesses, it is still hard to argue with the idea that if Hillary Clinton wants the nomination, she will get it and should get it as the strongest Democratic candidate in 2016 -- not Warren. The case for Republicans running someone other than Cruz is more arguable, given the large number of other options.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.