House Speaker Paul Ryan isn't the savior some establishment Republicans are hoping for to get the nomination in a contested Republican National Convention and then beat either Hillary Rodham Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to a new national survey.

Rasmussen Reports revealed Thursday that Clinton would beat Ryan 40 percent to 34 percent, and that 22 percent would prefer another candidate. Some 28 percent of Republicans said they prefer another candidate.

Sanders does slightly better, beating Ryan 41 percent to 34 percent, said the survey.

"A closer look at the numbers, however, suggests the danger to Republicans of a brokered convention that denies Donald Trump or Ted Cruz the nomination. Ryan earns GOP support only in the high 50s against both Democrats. If Ryan is the GOP's choice to run against Clinton, 28 percent of Republicans opt for someone else. If Sanders is Ryan's opponent, 24 percent of GOP voters like another candidate," said the poll analysis.

Still, for those pushing Ryan as an acceptable alternative to firebrands Cruz and Trump, the survey may be encouraging because at least he is closer to Clinton than they have been in recent polls.

Ryan was 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick and was a campaign trail standout. After refusing, he recently decided to take on the job of House speaker from former Speaker John Boehner and has worked overtime to unify the splintered GOP caucus.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at