As Donald Trump's slide in the polls continued this week, Republicans across the country longed for what could have been if the party had nominated a sane-seeming candidate such as Mike Pence.

Politico talked with several of its anonymous GOP operatives this week and asked them whether they thought Mike Pence would beat Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical matchup -- and an overwhelming majority of them said, "Yes."

Some of them then went on to note that Hillary Clinton should be an easy candidate for nearly any mainstream Republican to defeat -- and that further reflects on what a terrible candidate Donald Trump has been.

"The creepy clown walking around Green Bay would beat Hillary Clinton in 30 states," said one Nevada Republican. "Fortunately for Hillary, she is running against Donald Trump."

"Right now, Donald Trump is the only Republican in the United States whom Hillary Clinton can defeat," seethed a North Carolina Republican. "Trump is the best candidate on the ballot for Democrats in 2016."

“No one likes Hillary Clinton, but many do not feel that Donald Trump is a viable alternative," said a Michigan Republican.

Interestingly, the GOP insiders didn't think every non-Trump Republican could defeat Clinton. In fact, the majority of them said that Sen. Ted Cruz would still likely lose a presidential race against the current Democratic nominee.

"While Clinton has lots of weaknesses, Ted Cruz simply would not translate to Pennsylvania," said one Republican from the Keystone state. "He would probably lose bigger than Trump here."

Check out the rest of the reactions at this link.