GOP senators in denial about Trump

A dozen GOP senators interviewed on Wednesday acknowledged only that Trump is doing well — quite the understatement after his clean sweep and mathematical elimination of Ted Cruz from winning the nomination without the help of a contested convention.

Some said they’ll wait until the July convention to weigh in on Trump, let alone decide on an endorsement.

“He’s very close to wrapping it up. … I think it is likely that he is going to be the nominee,” said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. “I’ve always supported the Republican nominee, and I don’t think this year will be different. But I’m going to wait and see what happens at the convention.”

Blocking out the business mogul is, of course, a lot easier said than done. Vulnerable senators will have to run parallel campaigns that try to leverage Trump’s positives — his popularity with crossover voters drawn to his devil-may-care campaign style – without being dragged down by some serious negatives. For starters, how to distance themselves from Trump’s rhetoric on women and Latinos, and the controversies he’s stirred on issues ranging from immigration to abortion.