The bromance between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz—if there ever truly was one—is surely over.
Cruz, who once called Rubio “a critical national leader” on the Senate floor, is now talking about his opponent’s attendance record. Rubio, when he’s not bringing up Cruz’s now-famous flip on crop insurance, regularly lands hits on his immigration and defense positions.
“What's happening to Ted,” Rubio said Thursday in New Hampshire, “is people are learning more about him and as they learn more about it him, they're starting to realize ... he's not who he says he is."
Although both candidates were elected as Tea Party favorites, they are totally different, and millions of dollars will be spent on ads to make this clear. Rubio has positioned himself as a neo-establishment candidate with the gentility to sweep up moderates and the fire to ignite conservatives; Ted Cruz, no stranger to fire himself, is setting alight the right wing of the GOP.
But can voters tell the difference?
New polling released Wednesday from Pew Research makes that an open question. Among respondents who said Rubio would be a “good” or “great” president, 75 percent felt the same way about Cruz, the highest overlap in the entire field. The reverse held true, though to a lesser extent, with 62 percent of Cruz supporters thinking favorably of Rubio.