2016 Election, Ben Carson, Elections, NewsEdge

Why Ben Carson is surging

Published: Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 5:38:23 AM EDT
(Yerepouni Daily News (Lebanon))

Ben Carson, in many ways, is the antithesis of Donald Trump.

ben-carsonMr. Trump is loud and bombastic; Dr. Carson is low-key and genial. When Trump speaks, he chops his hands in the air as if to enhance his brashness. Carson has calm, steady, surgeon’s hands – “Gifted Hands,” as his memoir is titled. Trump comes across as the aggressively self-confident businessman he is; Carson has the bedside manner of the physician he is.

And they’re both hot properties in the GOP presidential nomination race, ranked one and two nationally, and tied for the lead in the latest poll out of Iowa. Trump and Carson each got 23 percent of the vote among likely Iowa GOP caucus-goers, according to a Monmouth University poll released Monday.  Iowa’s Republican caucuses, scheduled for Feb. 2, are the first contest in the 2016 nominating race, and are a crucial test.

The outsider appeal of the three nonpoliticians in the GOP race – Trump, Carson, and Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard – is well-documented. For Trump and Carson, another common denominator is authenticity. Each is being himself, and in a field packed with career politicians, that’s a plus.

Carson is gaining support because “he’s viewed as principled,” says Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “Second, he’s widely seen as likeable. And third, he doesn’t talk like a politician. Any time voters hear something that sounds like political double talk, they tune out.”

Carson’s likeability shines in the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll that came out over the weekend. Among all 17 Republican presidential candidates, Carson ranked first on favorability at 79 percent, with only 8 percent viewing him unfavorably.

In the first Republican debate, held Aug. 8, Trump dominated in every way – both in the coverage of his comments and in the amount of time he consumed (11:14). Carson got about half as much speaking time (6:46) and was seen as almost sleepy, until the end, when he sprang to life and made one of the more memorable statements.

“I’m the only one to separate Siamese twins…,” Carson said, “the only one to operate on babies while they were still in the mother’s womb, the only one to take out half of a brain – although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it.”

That comment brought down the house. It was probably pre-planned and rehearsed, but Carson delivered it with such ease – and a smile – that Republicans ate it up.

A week later, when the first major post-debate national poll was released,some analysts declared Carson the winner. Fox Newsshowed Carson at 12 percent, up from 7 percent in its pre-debate poll. That’s a 71 percent increase, better than any other candidate.

Another dimension that cannot go unstated is that Carson is African-American, important to Republicans tired of being reminded that they are woefully deficient in their support among minorities. He is, to some, the Republicans’ Barack Obama – and perhaps even more authentically black than President Obama, who grew up in Hawaii and was raised largely by his white mother and her parents.

Carson grew up in Detroit and was raised by a single mother. In early 2013, when Carson burst onto the political scene and lectured Obama in person at the National Prayer Breakfast, he was suddenly all over Fox News. Commentator Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic called Carson “the Conservative Black Hope of the moment.”

More than two years later, Carson has proved himself to be no mere political flash in the pan. Two weeks ago, some 12,000 people reportedly turned out in Phoenix, Ariz., to hear him speak – more than came to hear Trump at the same venue.

We’re still in the runup to the 2016 primaries. The next Republican debate is Sept. 16, when candidates can expect sharper questions on their policy views. Carson wins strong support from Christian conservative voters – a major force in the Iowacaucuses – for his opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. Yet earlier this month, he was confronted with – and defended– research he did with fetal tissue several decades ago.

Carson called the revelation of the 1992 paper “desperate,” and suggested to The Washington Post that the brouhaha reflected a lack of understanding about how medical research is conducted.

If Carson continues to rise in the polls, the issue may come back. Or maybe issue positions aren’t the most important element in voter decisions. Maybe being a nonpolitician, and coming across as authentic, is more important.


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  • dan9el

    RE ; – [ Ben Carson, in many ways, is the antithesis of Donald Trump. ]
    Actually everyone seems to be the antithesis of Donald Trump;…..and since quite a lot could be said?….let’s be simple.
    You see,…, the american public is getting aware by the hour that Donald Trump is not a republican from the GOP RINO-camp….he is out there as a man from teh american people, not fear to say the reality as it is,…..liberals(libertines)-democrats and their sold-out RINO republicans associated do not like it a bit….and now and for the rest of time in the planet, they will blow out of proportion any minuscule detail in the attempt to make the man looks bad….but the american public is not going to buy this one…they (we) need a solid serious and fearless true-core american for presidential platform and so far the only one out there doing this is Donald Trump….the rest are faking it.

    This is out there – RE ; – [ Why Donald Trump Is Leading The Republican Field? ]
    Well, this is very simple to understand.
    First, the GOP is not quite solid bastion in favour of the american public, for the DNC and the GOP are virtually the same thing.
    Both sectors are an amalgamate of corrupted politicians embarked in their very own special selfish interests that once they get elected?…. promises made, are easily forgotten…..meaning?…’politics as always’

    Donald Trump just as Sarah Palin too, represents rejection of the chronic ‘staus quo’ of politics as always.,…where the american public , and our country needs, falls into second level of importance after every election.
    The GOP old rancid establishment wants Trump out….starting with (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus .
    And so there goes Cruz, Perry,….and everyone in between teaming along with the main stream ultra-obamanized media holding and blowing out of proportion what the man said about McCain.

    As result of Donald Trump run for presidency , not only Perry, Bush,Cruz,…but everyone else is terrified inside the GOP.

    Donald Trump is quite solid about everything;..he is under severe attack – ( and it will continue that way, quite beyond 2016 elections) – due to the fact the man is telling the truth flat out, without fear of any kind….liberal (libertines) – democrats and their associates sold-out RINOs republicans, resent to be confronted with reality;….evidently there is a sense of frustration, and infuriated they get when facing even a fraction of the truth so eagerly they try to evade,…. and so, they deny it….pretending, that if they do not see it…or run from it , it just simply does not exist.

    And here is a thing that seems to be eluding everyone out there;….
    Mr Trump is not really a republican,…not like those RINOS out there – (from the GOP) -…he is a true-core American representative…he a man from the people,…this man is a real-core American patriot….just like Sarah Palin – which is hate by the rancid GOP just as well….these two true-solid americans are very similar,….no compromises, no fine print, no pretenses,…shouting, and shooting the truth , flat out….and democrats and sold-out RINO-type republicans do not like it.

    This is also out there;



    And so, views out there are dime a dozen,,,,quite frankly nobody know what the future may bring….however;…..

    Someone out there did suggest ; – “Sarah Palin had Obama pegged from the start. She and Trump holds similar views.”

    The GOP and DNC are virtually the same thing.
    Donald Trump is a threat to the rancid GOP..so..just like Sarah Palin,…truth is told and so the rancid GOP establishment does not like it.
    We need leaders that are pro-people, like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump…they both tell the truth flat out, without an iota of fear….only Trump is the only on out there so far;….should Sarah Palin would join efforts with Trump?….,that is a quite solid presidential combination where all of us can count on , for it is a full pro-USA american people approach.

    If Donald Trump wants to have solid vice-president partner there is nobody better than Gov Sarah Palin…..perhaps, he may / will consider that powerful option.
    On that presidential proposal the american public can count on …..we, the patriots, can vote on that ticket and the restoration of our great country will start.
    Are we all clear on this?
    Input anyone out there?

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