Following the GOP debate, Professor Jacobson noted that it looks like a two person race between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, and not only is this view becoming a consensus but apparently Trump thinks so, too.

Trump has taken to Twitter to rant and rave against Cruz.

His Twitter feed is chock-full of tweets just like these, and it’s quite clear that he is really (really) worried about Cruz.  As Trump said during the debate, he’s attacking Cruz now only because Cruz is polling so well.

Obviously, it doesn’t end with loans and donations, he’s also ranting about New York City and Cruz’s point about Trump’s New York values, a point people outside of NYC understand very well.

The “wiseguy apology” to which Trump refers:

Solid gold.

And my personal favorite . . .

For his part, Cruz is not being drawn into a Twitter feud with Trump, and in addition to the above tweet, has posted one other (excluding retweets) today on Trump:

Trump seems thin-skinned and a bit petty today on Twitter, and it seems that Cruz has rocked him more than should be evident.

Battle lines are being drawn and prominent pundits are picking sides.

Here’s Mark Levin’s advice to Trump:

Either cut the crap – your accusations this morning that Cruz is Canadian, a criminal, owned by big banks, etc. (see link below) – or you will lose lots and lots of conservatives. Save the liberal New York City bully tactics for the New York City liberals. Put down your computer keyboard for a few hours, think before you tweet, and collect yourself. You’re not politically invincible, regardless of the polls and media.

I am already hearing more and more people getting fed up with the low road you’re taking against Cruz, which has obviously intensified this morning. You don’t need to attack his honor or attempt to smear his reputation. You can leave that to Mitch McConnell and the New York Times. Engage on real and substantive issues that matter to the country. Like I said, my friendly advice.

Levin cuts to the heart of the problem of Trump’s current tactics against Cruz.  The people who avidly support Trump will continue to do so no matter what he says or does (we’ve seen that time and again), but the people who are wavering between Trump and Cruz are unlikely to be swayed by Trump’s rants.

Cruz made a similar observation today.

“It seems Donald has a lot of nervous energy,” he told reporters earlier Saturday in Fort Mill, S.C. “It seems for whatever reason Donald doesn’t react well when he’s going down in the polls. I imagine he’s very dismayed by the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC poll that shows in a head-to-head…he’d lose to me. Knowing Donald, that’s got to drive him nuts.”

. . . . “In terms of a commander-in-chief, we ought to have someone who isn’t springing out of bed to tweet in frantic response to the latest polls,” Cruz said.

The Texas senator, who has dismissed Trump’s conservative credibility by accusing him of having “New York values,” unpacked that line in more depth, noting that Trump himself used the phrase in a 1999 interview in which he also described himself as supporting abortion rights and not ruling out partial birth abortion, among other more liberal positions.

“Donald’s explanation, not mine, is because he’s a New Yorker, he’s from New York,” Cruz said.

Trump attacking Cruz the way he attacked others may backfire:

[Featured image via Twitter . . . in happier times]