Jeff Flake said this week "there's a feeling of dread right now on Capitol Hill" because of Donald Trump.
“I kept dismissing it and dismissing it,” Arizona's junior U.S. senator told New Times, referring to the possibility that Trump can take the Republican nomination for president.
Now, though, Flake said he's "a little worried."
Indeed, Trump's crushing victory over GOP competitors in the Nevada caucus on Tuesday, when he beat second-place finisher Marco Rubio with about twice the votes of caucus-goers, has made many believe he will be the Republican standard bearer — however ridiculous his loudmouthed candidacy has seemed to them from the start.
It's hard to ignore that he's winning over a huge number of GOP voters.
It was Trump's third win in a row, following similar landslides earlier this month in South Carolina and New Hampshire.
Flake's among the GOP leaders who see Trump as divisive and unhealthy for the party, saying “it's easy to distance yourself from Trump.”
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Flake said the doom overwhelming many in the nation's capital is "not helpful in any way.”
Thursday's GOP debate in Houston turned into a lively dog-pile on Trump, who has never held public office, by U.S. senators Ted Cruz and Rubio. But political pundits saw nothing in the spectacle that changes Trump's status as a front runner.
Trump "gave nearly good as he got," Slate.com reported.