Is this finally it? The moment that Trump’s indestructible campaign really starts skidding? Comparing Carson’s temper to the pathology of a child molester in his Fort Dodge speech was hardly an ex abrupto on The Donald’s part. He has been hammering home, if you will, the point about Carson’s self-confessed temper as a youth in Detroit, in interview after interview.

The poll numbers give the reason why, and it is now up to Trump’s supporters to “process” his latest rants, as one supporter was heard saying as she left the event. While Trump has hardly seen a collapse of support, it has steadily weakened in the last month or two. Will his latest insulting controversy accelerate this slow erosion of his support in the polls?

While Trump’s gruff and obnoxious dismissals of the virtues of Carson might previously have resonated with the skeptic within some GOP voters, this was likely a bridge too far. Except, if you think back to his juvenile idiocy regarding Carly Fiorina and her concise, devastating response at the CNN debate, it was Carly who fell in the polls. Perhaps for other reasons, but the point being that Trump has gotten away with murder – character assassination in fact – on more than one occasion.

The question is who will benefit from Trump’s rants? Will Carson hover like a saint above this mud wrestling? Or will his numbers stay firm but stable, while Cruz and Rubio are the ones who take market share from Trump? Assuming that Trump loses market share as a result of his attack on Carson.

Trump’s insults are not just the nastiness of a tough, blustery billionaire who has to have it his way. They are meant to insert doubts about the credibility of his rivals, like any negative ad campaign. But it’s not with slick multi-million dollar ads. It’s Donald being Donald in an interview or on stage, and just “speaking his mind.” It’s a smart strategy and has been working, at least until recently.

The problem is, when it stops working, voters may turn on the man doing the trash talking. Thing is, they haven’t yet. Some have drifted away, and some never wanted Trump anywhere near the nomination race. But he still has a strong core of supporters. Let’s see how’s he’s doing by Christmas.