Ben Carson Passes Donald Trump In New Iowa Polls

Two new Iowa polls show Ben Carson passing Donald Trump in the Hawkeye State, but that's not necessarily good news for Republicans.

Ben Carson Donald Trump

Two new polls out of Iowa suggest the possibility that Donald Trump’s dominance in the polls may be waning to some extent at least in the home of what will be the first contest of the 2016 race for the White House. After three months in which Trump dominated pretty much every credible poll of the Republican race at both the national and state levels, we now see retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson surging past him in a state where Carson’s appeal to evangelicals could prove to be a benefit for him, and a problem for Trump.

The first sign came yesterday in a new poll from Quinnipiac University that showed Carson surging to an eight point lead in a crowded Republican field:

Ben Carson has surged past Donald Trump in Iowa, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of likely Republican caucus participants out Thursday.

The retired neurosurgeon leads the Republican field with 28 percent, while Trump has fallen behind with 20 percent. A September survey had Trump at 27 percent, and Carson at 21 percent.

Also scoring a boost — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who comes in third with 13 percent, after attracting only 5 percent support in last month’s poll. Following Rubio in the most recent survey is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 10 percent, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul with 6 percent, and Carly Fiorina and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, both with 5 percent. All other candidates are under 3 percent.

The strong showing from Carson, who has gotten accolades for his debate performance and campaign style despite tossing out some inflammatory comments about Muslims and mass shootings, comes in part from his support from women, who back Carson 33 percent to Trump’s 13 percent.

Carson also has “almost unheard of” favorability numbers according to Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“Those who know Carson seem to like him. He has an almost unheard of 84/10 percent favorability rating among likely Republican caucus-goers, compared to Trump’s 53/43 percent rating. To borrow the line from Madison Avenue, ‘Almost no one doesn’t like Ben Carson,'” Brown said.

While Carson and Trump have been jockeying for support from evangelical voters, Carson received 36 percent of the vote from white, evangelical Christians — more than double Trump’s 17 percent.

And while Trump may sit toward the top of the poll, 30 percent of voters said they “would definitely not support” the businessman. Bush comes in second as a no-support candidate with 21 percent.

A candidate who shares their values is most important to 28 percent of caucus-goers; 23 percent think being honest and trustworthy is key.

When yesterday’s poll came out, it was largely drowned out by the coverage of Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the House Benghazi Committee and many observers wondered if it was indicative of a new trend or an outlier that would end having to be ignored. That question was seemingly answered this morning in the form of a poll from Bloomberg News and The Des Moines Register that puts Carson nine points ahead of Trump and firmly atop the field in the Hawkeye State:

Ben Carson has a nine percentage-point lead on Donald Trump in Iowa, according to a new Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll out Friday.

In the poll — the second this week to find the retired neurosurgeon moving ahead of the billionaire real estate mogul — Carson leads with 28 percent of likely Republican caucus goers, followed by Trump at 19 percent. Carson is up 10 percentage points since August, when the poll was last taken, while Trump has dropped 4 percentage points.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz comes in third with 10 percent, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has 9 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul each had 5 percent.

Carson does well among Iowa’s most conservative constituencies: A third of the state’s critical evangelical Christian voting bloc chose Carson in October’s poll, up from 21 percent in August. He is also leading among self-described backers of the tea party, with a similar level level of support.

Nor does it seem Carson’s comments about Muslims have harmed his support in Iowa. On NBC’s “Meet the Press” in September, Carson said he would “not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation” — and he fended off days of critical press coverage. But according to Friday’s poll, more than two-thirds of likely Iowa GOP caucus goers believe a Muslim should not be president.

“His standing has improved in every way pollsters traditionally measure,” J. Ann Selzer, president of West Des Moines-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll, told Bloomberg. “This might be a wake-up for Donald Trump.”

These are the first two polls to be taken in Iowa in nearly a month. In the last poll, conducted by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, Trump was leading the field with 24% and Carson was in second place at 19%. A month before that, the last Des Moines Register poll showed Trump in the lead with 23% and Carson in second place at 18%. So what we clearly see here is a reversal of fortunes for both candidates, with Carson clearly rising while Trump falls, seemingly at least in part because he hasn’t gone over very well with Iowa’s evangelical and religiously conservative voters. Now, thanks to these recent polls, the RealClearPolitics average for Iowa puts Carson in first place at 25% and Trump in second at 21.7%. Below them, there is no other candidate in double digits and instead we have Marco Rubio at 9.3%, Ted Cruz at 8.7%, Jeb Bush at what has to be a disappointing for his supporters 5.7% in a tie with Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul at an even 5.0%, Bobby Jindal performing better than his national polling at 3.7%, and every other candidate averaging 3.5% or worse.

The obvious question these polls will raise, of course, is whether or not this is the beginning of the end of Donald Trump’s dominance of the Republican race for President. While this question has been asked before, and many have predicted that it would happen, several times over the past three and half months, it’s at least a legitimate question to raise this time. For the first time since mid-July we have polls showing Donald Trump not only dropping, which has happened before, but also losing first place to another candidate. Given the fact that Trump frequently cite the fact that he is leading in “all the polls” in his campaign and press appearances, this does tend to at least put some of a damper on the air of inevitability that his campaign has quite obviously been pushing for some time now. Additionally, the fact that Trump has at least for the moment fallen behind in the first contest of the 2016 cycle does make one wonder if this might indicate that his act has worn stale with Republican voters.

At the same time, though, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about what these polls out of Iowa might mean for the race as a whole.

The first caveat, obviously, that these are only two polls out of one state and that they don’t necessarily indicate anything about the race at the nationwide level or in the other early primary states. As I noted earlier this week, Trump not only continues to lead in the national polling but he seems to have recovered from his September slump and started rising again. Trump also continues to lead in other early primary states such as New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida. As we’ve seen before, what happens in Iowa often bears little resemblance to what happens in other early primary states, so until there are signs that Trump is starting to slip elsewhere it would be premature to say that this slip in Iowa is the beginning of a significant nationwide trend.

Additionally, it’s worth keeping in mind is exactly the kind of state that someone like Ben Carson might be able to succeed in during a Presidential race. The combination of a caucus system that favors small groups of committed voters over more casual ones and the fact that the Iowa Republican Party is heavily dominated by conservative evangelical voters creates a favorable ground for the kind of candidate like Carson that appeals to a small segment of voters, but whose supporters are deeply committed enough to do what it takes to organize for a caucus. Because of this, Iowa has historically given Republicans some odd results in Presidential years. Of the five times since 1976 that the Iowa Caucuses have been contested, for example, Iowa voters have only backed the eventual Republican nominee three times, and one of those was in 1996 when Bob Dole from neighboring Kansas was on the ballot. In other years, Iowa Republicans have given near wins to such eclectic candidates as Pat Robertson (1988), Pat Buchanan (1996), Mike Huckabee (2008), and Rick Santorum (2012), none of of whom went on to do very well in the subsequent primaries in the years that I ran. (Source) Given all of this, the fact that Carson is surging in Iowa isn’t necessarily all that relevant.

Finally, of course, it’s worth noting that the replacement of Donald Trump on the top of the GOP field with Ben Carson, even if it is only in Iowa for the time being, isn’t necessarily a good thing. While Carson may be popular with the Republican base right now, he is hardly any more of a credible or rational candidate nor is he someone who should be taken any more seriously than Trump. This is, after all, a man with some rather obvious gaps in his knowledge regarding how government works. He has a long  history of inflammatory rhetoric that most recently appeared to include the suggestion that Holocaust victims were partly to blame for their fate and the suggestion that the Department of Education should be turned into some kind of monitor to weed out “political bias” in higher education.  Given all of this, the prospect of Ben Carson at the top of the field should be as concerning as the fact that Donald Trump is currently there. The only real difference between the two seems to be the fact that Carson is not inclined to the kind of attacks, vulgarity, and ostentatiousness that has been Trump’s style since long before he entered the Presidential race. In other words, Republicans may end up replacing one flake at the top of the field with another one who may be different in style but is just as empty in substance.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    Okay, I’ve found the analogy: it’s all pubic.

    Stay with me, here. Donald Trump is a dick. Ben Carson is nuts. It’s dick vs. nuts, the battle for the crotch of the GOP.

    Right? Huh? Amiright over here?

  2. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Is this conclusion the result of a seminal study, or merely an observation you made in passing?

  3. michael reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    Oh, there’s always a whole team behind something as big and important as this. No one man can claim credit for a breakthrough this paradigm-shifting.

  4. sam says:

    The good doctor wants to abolish Medicare and Medicaid. I can see the trumpedo in the water now.

  5. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’m not sure whether the fact that it’s team work or individual work makes a vas deferens in this case. In any event, your observation is worth more than a glans.

  6. al-Ameda says:

    Now, thanks to these recent polls, the RealClearPolitics average for Iowa puts Carson in first place at 25% and Trump in second at 21.7%. Below them, there is no other candidate in double digits and instead we have Marco Rubio at 9.3%, Ted Cruz at 8.7%, Jeb Bush at what has to be a disappointing for his supporters 5.7% in a tie with Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul at an even 5.0%, Bobby Jindal performing better than his national polling at 3.7%, and every other candidate averaging 3.5% or worse.

    This is yet more of the ongoing campaign primary season disgrace that is Iowa.

    I’ve said it before, and it’s true more than ever, no establishment Republican candidate should bother with Iowa. It’s a fraudulent little set-up – no actual election, just crappy caucuses dominated by the 27% crazification types, except that in the Iowa caucuses they’re more like 57%.

  7. gVOR08 says:

    @sam: I’m not sure the trumpedo won’t be a dud. Any rational person would want to preserve health insurance for their old age. But that’s not necessarily who we’re talking about here. It’ll be a fun experiment.

  8. CSK says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Presidents Santorum, Huckabee, and Dole would agree with you, no doubt.

    The New Hampshire primary seems to be approaching the same level of irrelevance.

  9. OldSouth says:

    Before one bloviates about who is or is not a flake…

    One candidate announced his candidacy from a major New York building that he built.

    Another candidate has several decades of making life and death decisions on a daily basis.

    And then we have Monica’s Boyfriend’s Estranged Wife, who decided that blowing up a North African country was a marvelous idea….

  10. CrustyDem says:

    @michael reynolds:

    BOOOO!!

    Also, I think we all know where Ted Cruz fits in this anatomical diagram.

  11. Slugger says:

    @OldSouth: Did you watch any TV yesterday? Seahawks looked good, and somebody else ran up a big score on the oppo.

  12. grumpy realist says:

    @OldSouth: And the guy who is ahead right now in Iowa doesn’t believe in evolution and thinks the world is 6000 years old.

    We’re not electing a POTUS to tell himself what he wants to hear and send people off to be killed based on the fairy tails he tells himself. We had that with Dubya. You want Round Two of such foolishness?

  13. gVOR08 says:

    @grumpy realist: I don’t know if OldSouth is a new self appointed spokesman for the far right or a re-branded old one. In either case, he/she may well regard all your points as features. The home school crowd in IA seem to.

  14. al-Ameda says:

    @OldSouth:

    And then we have Monica’s Boyfriend’s Estranged Wife, who decided that blowing up a North African country was a marvelous idea….

    Of course, Laura’s estranged husband decided in 2003 that blowing up Iraq – thereby ceding power in the region to Iran and creating the conditions for ISIS to flourish – was a good idea.

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @CSK:

    For the win: any hideous pun involving obscure anatomical parts. Vas deferens, indeed.

  16. michael reynolds says:

    By the way, did I not say Hillary was playing rope-a-dope? Did I not say Biden dropping out would also kill Bernie? Did I not also say we’d seen peak Trump?

    With that ego moment aside, does it strike anyone else that talking about Republicans has come to resemble the infamous 18th century tours of Bedlam, in which well-heeled Londoners would visit the lunatics and laugh?

    I’m pretty sure derisive laughter is not what a major political party should strive for.

  17. Moosebreath says:

    It will be interesting to see how The Donald reacts to this. Typically, if someone is a rival big enough for him to notice, Trump begins with personal attacks. If he does this to Carson (who is probably the most liked person among the Republican candidates and who has reached his current level of support without attacking others), it may be a bridge too far for Republican primary voters.

  18. C. Clavin says:

    Meantime JEB! is cutting salaries of his staffers.

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @C. Clavin:

    He’s laying off his exclamation mark and downsizing the caps. It’s just Jeb now.

  20. CSK says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Trump has no choice but to attack Carson if Carson becomes a threat: Trump has already announced that his strategy would be to go after whoever closes in on him. It should be interesting to witness.

  21. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: Current RCP shows Trump at 26.7 in NH and Carson at 14.7 (but rising). (Jeb!Bush? is actually 3rd at 9.3.) The conventional and sensible thing for Trump would be to take a lesson from the success of President Richard Cardinal Santorum and kiss off IA. Given his dependence on free media, he may not have all that much ability to focus it. Gonna be fun to see what he does do.

  22. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    It’ always been just…meh.

  23. Moosebreath says:

    @CSK:

    “Trump has no choice but to attack Carson if Carson becomes a threat: Trump has already announced that his strategy would be to go after whoever closes in on him.”

    Yes, but my point was that Trump’s attacks are always personal, not substantive. And Carson is the wrong person in the primary for Trump to do that to.

  24. charon says:

    @OldSouth:

    Keep fucking that chicken, other people’s personal lives. conspiracy theories, are you part of the 27% crazyfication contingent, sure looks like.

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Nah, it’s easy. You paint him as too gentle, too weak. Nice guy, but hey, Carson vs. Putin? The 3 AM phone call? Dealing with the Anti-christ (Hillary) in a debate where she actually, um, knows stuff?

    Damn with faint praise, smirk, wink-wink, nice guy but not exactly. . . manly. That’s the approach.

    From our side, of course, we can just say Carson is batshit. But batshit is a feature not a bug for Republicans.

  26. CSK says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Oh, I know. That means that Trump will have to go personal. He has no choice. The interesting thing will be to see what mode of personal attack he chooses. He can’t use race. He can’t use religion, especially not in Iowa. He can’t credibly claim to be smarter than a top neurosurgeon. And if he insults Carson’s looks a la Fiorina, then he’s veering toward racism again. His fans may be comfortable with misogyny, but they’d have to at least pretend to be appalled by racism.

    What he’s left with, I suppose, is attacking Carson on the basis that Carson has no management experience, whereas as he, Donald Trump, is the most brilliant manager ever to have existed. (Never mind all the bankruptcies. How in hell do you bankrupt a casino? It’s a license to print money.)

  27. Moosebreath says:

    @michael reynolds: @CSK:

    We’ll see. I think Michael’s attack will backfire, though it will be fun to watch. CSK’s attack is actually substantive, so I don’t think Trump will go there.

  28. DrDaveT says:

    @OldSouth:

    Another candidate has several decades of making life and death decisions on a daily basis.

    I am continually baffled by people who think that being a top surgeon or a CEO is good experience if you want to be President.

    No. Being a CEO or a top surgeon or Elvis Presley is good experience if you want to be The King. Or Dictator, Tyrant, Archon, Sultan, Emperor, Dark Lord, Warlord, or any other absolute ruler.

    If you want to govern a multicultural and divided nation through the indirect reins of representative democracy, you should have some demonstrated skill at accomplishing stuff when you can’t just demand your way and fire (or have fired) anyone who doesn’t jump fast enough or high enough when you say “Jump!”.

  29. Pinky says:

    @CSK:

    How in hell do you bankrupt a casino?

    Put it in Atlantic City.

  30. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK:

    they’d have to at least pretend to be appalled by racism

    They’d have to recognize it first. .

  31. gVOR08 says:

    @DrDaveT: I keep asking if Trump and Carson followers have any idea what a president does.

  32. Moosebreath says:

    @Pinky:

    “Put it in Atlantic City.”

    True dat. Even Christie lost hundreds of millions on an Atlantic City casino. The difference is that was the state’s money, not his own.

  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’ve always thought being a Republican these days must be something like the folks standing on the deck of the Titanic saying “ooh, that’s a big iceberg!”

  34. charon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Nah, it’s easy. You paint him as too gentle, too weak.

    The problem with that is it is not true. Sure, he is very soft-spoken and even tempered, kind of like Chauncey the gardener from “Being There,” but that is merely his affect – the reality is he is so arrogant he doesn’t bother to get annoyed at his inferiors. Eventually, it will become obvious to people that with Ben it is “my way or the highway” , the opposite of malleable.

    @DrDaveT: @DrDaveT:

    No. Being a CEO or a top surgeon or Elvis Presley is good experience if you want to be The King. Or Dictator, Tyrant, Archon, Sultan, Emperor, Dark Lord, Warlord, or any other absolute ruler.

    Besides that, I have seen anecdotes that indicate the man is nearly totally lacking in empathy.

    Let’s see now:

    Arrogant: Check

    Narcissistic: Check

    Inflexible: Check

    Knows it all: Check

    Lacks empathy: Check

    Here is where I blow up Godwin and point out that constellation of traits brings to mind individuals such as Saddam Hussein, Josef Stalin, and, yes, that other book author, Adolf Hitler. Not exactly my preference as a President.

  35. charon says:

    @charon:

    Perhaps all the Nazi and Hitler comparisons the guy keeps spewing is projection – the guy talking about what, at some level, he sees in Dr. Ben.

  36. grumpy realist says:

    @charon: Um, you’ve just described Donald Trump as well, nu?

    Somehow, I don’t think the base really cares about empathy. They certainly don’t seem to have any of it for anyone who doesn’t look exactly like themselves and have the same religion.

  37. David M says:

    I still can’t get over the fact that people would vote for Trump, Carson or Fiorina. That trio isn’t qualified to run for any national office.

    I understand how the GOP base feels betrayed by the Republican, as the outrage machine has been cranked up to eleven for the last decade, but I don’t see how these clowns are the answer.

  38. charon says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Um, you’ve just described Donald Trump as well, nu?

    Not really, no. The guy projects as extremely narcissistic, a bully and a blowhard, but that is not quite the same thing. Besides the guy is a very talented showman, so it is hard to say how much of that is real and how much a “stage persona.” Whereas Br. Ben is too arrogant to bother hiding who he really is.

    Out of all 15 candidates, I find Donald least scary as an elected President, Dr. Benthe most scary.

  39. charon says:

    @charon:

    I do not, for example, think anyone would describe “The Donald” as inflexible, the man flip-flops all over the place.

  40. DrDaveT says:

    @charon:

    I do not, for example, think anyone would describe “The Donald” as inflexible, the man flip-flops all over the place.

    Exactly. The most dangerous people are the ones who will not let reality interfere with their preconceptions, nor let mere consequences stand in the way of doctrine. That describes Dr. Ben perfectly, but is the opposite of Donald “what do you want me to be for today?” Trump.

  41. charon says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Somehow, I don’t think the base really cares about empathy.

    The base has plenty of empathy for those like themselves. With Dr. Ben, I mean the sort of pathological lack of empathy for anyone, even his own family.

  42. michael reynolds says:

    @charon:

    Interesting analysis. I’m gonna take that on-board and keep my eyes open next time I see the guy.

  43. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You called it right. Trump went after Carson as being “super-low energy.”

    He also says that the three Iowa polls showing Carson in the lead are “wrong.”

  44. Smooth Jazz says:

    “In other words, Republicans may end up replacing one flake at the top of the field with another one who may be different in style but is just as empty in substance.”

    LOL, How haughty of you! Sometimes I think you far left Liberal hacks think too much of yourselves. You consider one of the top neurosurgeons in the world – an African American with an inspirational story to be sure – as someone who is “empty in substance”, while your preferred candidate is considered a liar and untrustworthy by approx 2/3 of the country. Meanwhile, this empty in substance Republican who you disparage is leading your untrustworthy candidate in national polls and in most recent surveys in critical states such as MI, PA, IA & CO.

    Here is something for you far left hacks to ponder: Dr Carson is perhaps the most dangerous opponent for Mrs Clinton. He would most likely peel off a good chuck of black voters, kick her butt in his home state of MI and crush her in places like IA & CO where is beating her in the latest polls. What far left hacks like you don’t appreciate this year is this: An untrustworthy Dem candidate who has been in DC for 20+ years, who has a reputation as a liar and who changes positions depending on which way the wind blows, may not do as well as you think against an inspirational figure like Dr Carson with a compelling personal narrative in a year voters are looking for something new and refreshing.

    Here is something else for you to consider: Mrs Clinton has negative ratings right about where Gov Sarah Palin was in 2008 and remember how much you disparaged and trashed Gov Palin .

    Writeoff and malign Dr Carson at your peril. You better hope Mrs Clinton improves on her favorability rating (current around 35% – 40% in most reputable polls) and lower the % of people who think she is a liar/untrustworthy from 67%, or she will not have a prayer next year. She will not get elected president in this country with negatives like this no matter how haughty you liberals consider yourselves.

  45. Smooth Jazz says:

    “The 3 AM phone call? Dealing with the Anti-christ (Hillary) in a debate where she actually, um, knows stuff?”

    Um, Yeah. That’s the ticket. She knows stuff??? LOLOLOLOL. The problem is she may know “too much” stuff in a year where voters want something new and refreshing. Besides, when 2/3rds of the country considers the woman a liar and untrustworthy, it’s debatable how much of that “stuff” she knows voters will consider true. Remember, the general election will not be like the Democratic debate where she was preaching to the choir.

  46. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Oh look, we attracted another one.

  47. Barry says:

    @sam: “The good doctor wants to abolish Medicare and Medicaid. I can see the trumpedo in the water now.”

    From what I’ve heard, the Iowa caucus system is basically the Talibangelical wing of the GOP at Prayer. It’s not surprising that Carson plays well there. He’s totally willing to lie in ways pleasing to them.

    I’m looking forward to campaign ads in the rest of the country showing Carson talking about abolishing Medicare and Medicaid.

  48. Barry says:

    @OldSouth: Awwwwwwwwwwwww………….

  49. Barry says:

    @CSK: ” He can’t use race. ”

    Yes, he can. He’s just got to use the thinnest, most translucent implausible deniability.
    We’ve watched that wing of the GOP embrace their not-so-inner racist for quite some time now.

    “He can’t use religion, especially not in Iowa. ”

    He’s got to be very careful there, which is his biggest danger.

    “He can’t credibly claim to be smarter than a top neurosurgeon. ”

    Yes, he can. Remember, Trump!!!! is a YUUUGE Gazillionaire.

    “And if he insults Carson’s looks a la Fiorina, then he’s veering toward racism again. His fans may be comfortable with misogyny, ”

    Also, criticizing his looks just wouldn’t work, IMHO. Carson is merely old, not fat like Christie.

    “….but they’d have to at least pretend to be appalled by racism.”

    They don’t even pretend any more, and the MSM is happy to cover for them there.

  50. CSK says:

    @Barry:

    Well, as I noted above, he ended up going for the personal, attacking Carson as “super-low energy.”

    Is calling a black man “super-low energy” code for lazy n……, or am I reading too much into this?

  51. charon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    For an example of the man’s lack of empathy, even for family, check out the anecdote at this link of the man stiffing his five-year-old on his birthday, then telling the kid his present is that Daddy saved someone’s life that day. What does that mean to a five-year-old with no present?

    http://www.salon.com/2015/10/21/ben_carsons_dangerous_god_complex_the_commencement_speech_i_wont_soon_forget_partner/

    @Barry:

    I read somewhere he has been actively involved for years with Iowa home-schoolers who like his books, cultivating them, so he should have a pretty good ground game in Iowa.

  52. Grewgills says:

    @CSK:
    I think you are reading too much into it. Trump is right about the energy level he projects when he talks. He speaks with a sort of droopy dog cadence.

  53. CSK says:

    @Grewgills:

    Probably I am reading too much into it. It’s just that with an oaf like Trump, you automatically expect the worst.

  54. DrDaveT says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Here is something for you far left hacks to ponder: Dr Carson is perhaps the most dangerous opponent for Mrs Clinton.

    Oh, please, let it be so.

  55. humanoid.panda says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Here is something for you far left hacks to ponder: Dr Carson is perhaps the most dangerous opponent for Mrs Clinton. He would most likely peel off a good chuck of black voters, kick her butt in his home state of MI and crush her in places like IA & CO where is beating her in the latest polls.

    And yet, we far left hacks know that Carson’s home state is Maryland, MD, and not Michigan, MI.

    Also, someone who had been a topic of this splendid little post, should probably avoid making electoral prognostications:

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/one-more-about-the-unskewed-v-reality-discussion/

  56. humanoid.panda says:

    Since Smooth Jazz mentioned Carson crashing Hillary in Ohio, how about this little tidbit?

    he is not winning OH, not matter how many Dem 10%+ polls CNN trots out. Remember, it is barely 2 years since OH elected Gov Kasich & Sen Portman, and those Rep voters will be back out in force in 2012.
    Here is a stat that should make you shutter: According to the various Secy of State County officials in OH, as of 10/26 220,000 fewer Democrats have voted early in Ohio compared with 2008. And 30,000 more Republicans have cast their ballots compared with four years ago. That is a 250,000-vote net Rep increase for a state Obama won by 260,000 votes in 2008. That is not based on a bogus CNN & MSNBC poll with a juiced Dem sample; That is a cold hard stat from OH election officials.
    Good luck drinking the Nate Silver 99% probability Obama wins koolaid.

  57. Pinky says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    And yet, we far left hacks know that Carson’s home state is Maryland, MD, and not Michigan, MI.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Carson

  58. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pinky:

    Carson still lives in Maryland, as he has for some 40 odd years now.

  59. al-Ameda says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    How haughty of you! Sometimes I think you far left Liberal hacks think too much of yourselves. You consider one of the top neurosurgeons in the world – an African American with an inspirational story to be sure – as someone who is “empty in substance”,

    I personally think that Ben Carson is a tremendous gift to the Democratic Party. I hope Dr. Carson wins the GOP nomination.

    I certainly would warmly welcome a contest between Hillary Clinton (who causes much derangement among conservatives) and Dr. Ben Carson, who says inspirational things on the order of: ACA is the worst thing that happened in this nation since slavery, or there are a lot of men who go into prison straight, and come out gay, or comparing those who voted for Obama to Nazi Germany.

    Carson is proof positive that field expertise as a neurosurgeon does not confer on a person any special ability to speak coherently on any number of public policy issues.

  60. charon says:

    Trump events are repeatedly exhibiting rough behaviour by supporters against anti-trump protesters or just questioners asking confrontational querys.

    Trump seems to condone this at this link, pretty disturbing:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/10/25/video_shows_trump_supporter_violently_evicting_protester_from_rally.html