Donald Trump, Ben Carson Tied In New Iowa Poll

Two candidates with no political experienced whatsoever are tied in Iowa as Republican voters continue to reject anyone with political experience.

Fighting Elephants Two

The newest poll out of Iowa has Donald Trump and Ben Carson tied at the top of the field, and no Republican candidate with even a small amount of political experience in double digits:

Ben Carson and Donald Trump are tied at the top of the Republican field in a new survey of likely Iowa caucus-goers with 23 percent each, according to the results of a Monmouth University poll released Monday.

The good news continues for the retired neurosurgeon with his favorability ratings, as 81 percent said they view him favorably, compared with just 6 percent who do not. And Trump’s favorability went up as well, at 52 percent to 33 percent, up from 47 percent and 35 percent, respectively, last month.

Carson has steadily gained support over the summer despite keeping a relatively low profile, especially compared with Trump. But Carson, who has never held political office, has similarly tapped into a strong anti-Washington sentiment among voters.

In the poll released Monday, the two non-establishment candidates are followed by another, former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina with 10 percent. Following Fiorina are Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 9 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 7 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 5 percent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 4 percent, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 3 percent. No other candidates registered more than 2 percent, including the past two winners of the caucus — former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (both at 2 percent).

The latest survey showed Carson making inroads on key voting blocs that Trump has been winning in recent polls. Women preferred Carson at 30 percent to 19 percent, while Trump did better with male voters, at 27 percent to 17 percent.

Among those identifying with the tea party, 27 percent pledged their support for Trump, compared to 22 percent for Carson, with Cruz behind with 16 percent. But Carson leads among non-tea-party-affiliated Republicans, taking 25 percent to Trump’s 19 percent.

Voters who described themselves as very or somewhat conservative were split between the top two, while moderates and liberals went for Trump at 26 percent, Fiorina at 18 percent and Carson at 17 percent.

Carson leads among evangelical voters, earning 29 percent to Trump’s 23 percent, while non-evangelicals backed Trump with 24 percent, followed by Carson at 18 percent and Fiorina at 13 percent.

While Carson does seem to be doing better than Trump among some demographic groups, at least to some extent, his rise in the polls, which we also saw in the Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night, seems to have come mostly at the expense of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. In the last Monmouth University poll conducted just about six weeks ago, Walker was at the head of the pack at 22%, with Trump at 13% and nobody else in double digits. Carson at that point was in third place at eight percent, which means that he has risen almost exactly as much as Walker has fallen while most of the candidates have stayed still or only moved up or down within the margin of error. Considering the fact that Walker was the near-prohibitive leader among Republicans in Iowa from February until right before the August 6th debate in Cleveland, it’s not hard to surmise that his performance in the debate and since then has hurt him while, largely to the benefit of Carson and Trump. In fact, Carson’s rise in the poll does not seem to have come at Trump’s expense at all given the fact that Trump’s 23% here is mirrored by the numbers we see in the recent Des Moines Register and CNN polls out of Iowa. Whether this makes Trump and Carson rivals now, though, is an interesting question because, so far we’ve seen Trump go after each of the candidates that was closest to him the polls but he’s laid off Dr. Carson so far. That may not last very much longer.

The other fascinating thing about this poll is the fact that none of the people who are in double digits have ever held elective office before. Each of them has their own records in the private sphere, of course, but as we’ve discussed before there’s a vast difference between the private sphere and government, and experience in the first does not necessarily mean one would be competent in the second, especially as President of the United States. That experience issue doesn’t seem to bother voters very much, though, and instead what we clearly are seeing here is evidence of a decidedly anti-establishment, anti-Washington, anti-politician mindset among Republicans that people like Trump, Carson, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina are benefiting from. Whether that will last, and whether these candidates will survive the inevitable scrutiny that will come with their new found success in the polls remains to be seem. For the moment, though, Republican voters in Iowa, as well as nationally and in New Hampshire seem to be very turned off by anyone with political experience.

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. Neil Hudelson says:

    This is bad news for Trump in a big way.

    Trump entered, did better than expected initially, then reversed his negative/positive numbers in an astounding way, and climbed to the top in all polls. He had a sense of momentum and inevitability that (much to Steven Taylor’s chagrin) made him feel substantially different than Bachman/Perry/Cain.

    Now? Now it appears any crazy person can be #1 in the Republican party. He’s no longer special, he no longer has a sense of a weird inevitability. He’s now a Bachman or a Herman Cain, and is on his way to being an historical footnote.

    That said…if anyone can reverse their fortune, my money is on the Donald.

  2. I don’t see how this is “bad news” for Trump at all.

    Yes, it is possibly evidence that his rapid rise in the polls may have halted, but that was never going to last anyway. Either he would crash, or he would plateau in which case getting support from other quarters would be a harder task. I’d argue that if Carson is going to become the latest immediate rival then that’s good news for Trump because Carson is not the type of candidate who will fight back, and who cannot match Trump when it comes to rhetoric.

  3. TPF says:

    No surprise. The political class have been failing our country for decades. Sooner or later a backlash was going to take place.

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I was being semi-facetious (“bad news in a big way”), trying to copy the headlines we’ve been seeing on the ‘nets ever since Donald entered. Trying, but failing.

  5. C. Clavin says:

    Trump
    Carson
    Fiorina
    Cruz
    Walker
    I’m not sure anything more needs to be said about today’s Republican Party.

  6. gVOR08 says:

    @TPF: The political class in the Republican party has been failing the country and the expectations of the Republican base. Don’t put any of this on Dems. Obama’s been doing pretty well by the country. And it’s not the Dems’ fault you’re blinded by partisanship and can’t see it.

  7. JohnMcC says:

    @C. Clavin: It’s called a “deep bench” donchanoe.

  8. ernieyeball says:

    …Republican voters continue to reject anyone with political experience.

    Isn’t this one aspect of the thinking of citizens who advocate for term limits on the seats in the United States Congress?

  9. Hal_10000 says:

    @ernieyeball:

    Isn’t this one aspect of the thinking of citizens who advocate for term limits on the seats in the United States Congress?

    Political experience is one thing (especially for an executive). Spending your entire life in the halls of power is quite another.

    I think this is more telling of how several semi-legit campaigns have imploded, Walker’s in particular (all that pandering for nothing). Of the candidates on the stage at the first debate, Christie, Paul and Walker are in freefall. Bush is starting to sink. You have to wonder where the Republican establishment is going to stampede to. Rubio or Kasich?

  10. Barry says:

    @Neil Hudelson: “Now? Now it appears any crazy person can be #1 in the Republican party. He’s no longer special, he no longer has a sense of a weird inevitability. He’s now a Bachman or a Herman Cain, and is on his way to being an historical footnote.”

    A great phrase from 2012 was ‘the Not-Mitt’, meaning anybody in the race who wasn’t Mitt, and upon whom everybody in the GOP could project their hopes. With each one, as the spotlight hit them, people realized why they weren’t the prima donna, and moved on to the next one.

    Have we started the ‘Not-Jeb’ parade?

  11. Kylopod says:

    One irony I’ve noticed about today’s right is that they seem animated by many of the ideas in the 1939 movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, which was written by Sidney Buchman, a leftist who ended up being blacklisted.

    While it’s a good film in a dramatic sense, its political ideas are just plain idiotic, and it probably did more than anything else in our culture to popularize the notion that all politics needed was the simple folk wisdom of an ignorant outsider. Taking place during the Depression, it’s striking that Mr. Smith’s big idea to set himself apart from all the hacks and crooks who control the political class isn’t aid to the poor or relief for the unemployed, it’s a federally funded boys’ camp, which sounds like the sort of idea Newt Gingrich would come up with.

    Consciously or not, the rank-and-file right of the 2000s seems to have adopted wholesale the values of that film. It’s not just their belief in a political amateur saving the day, it’s their celebration of ignorance. In some ways that’s even more important to them than a lack of political experience. (For example, Woodrow Wilson may not have had much political experience when he became president, but he was a political scholar with deep knowledge and expertise on the subject long before he ever ran for office.) Yes, this even applies to Dr. Carson, whose brilliance as a neurosurgeon serves mostly as a totem that righties can use to ward off charges of stupidity; essential to his appeal is that his erudition is limited strictly to medicine, and on most other topics he sounds scarcely any different from Sarah Palin.

    How they got this way, I’m not sure, but it was gradual. You can already see some elements of it in Reagan, who, though no political neophyte himself, did definitely have the habit of sneering at displays of knowledge and brainpower, and started a line that went right through Bush and all the way down to Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, where what started as merely a crusade against snobbery devolved into a contempt for intellect itself.

  12. grumpy realist says:

    @ernieyeball: Yes, well, we’ve already had SCOTUS comment on that….

    And if SCOTUS is going to come up with an anti-birthright citizenship interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Republicans are going to have to get some REALLY loony lawyers up there…

  13. grumpy realist says:

    Talking about loony professors, has anyone seen this?

    Makes you wonder who’s manning West Point’s HR department. “gullible idiots” seems to be the least of it.

  14. Stan says:

    @Kylopod: “Consciously or not, the rank-and-file right of the 2000s seems to have adopted wholesale the values of that film. It’s not just their belief in a political amateur saving the day, it’s their celebration of ignorance.”

    See Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, and The Paranoid Style in American Politics, both written by Richard Hofstadter around 1963. Except for the cast of characters, they read as if they had been written yesterday.

  15. Slugger says:

    I looked at the Des Moines Register website. Dr. Carson has actually done little campaigning spending $225,000 which is far less than other candidates. He has high favorability scores with women. I guess he is the Trump-like candidate that women like. The rest of the field is far distant.
    JEB is going to have to make some moves soon; eventually the Republican faithful are not going to like having the party elites put him at the head of the ticket like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. I recommend that JEB make some real angry statements about Trump. Trump has mocked his fluency in Spanish, trotted out some old Barbara Bush anti-JEB comments, and there is now a Willy Horton like ad on Trump’s Twitter account. Republicans like the shirtless macho types, and JEB looks like a guy who makes his own bed and lets the wife control the channel changer. Trump and Carson tell the wife to make a sandwich while they watch the NFL.
    In the interest of full disclosure, my wife controls the channel changer at my house, but I don’t make beds.

  16. michael reynolds says:

    This is nothing. Wait till the new PPP poll comes out. Rachel Maddow just did an exclusive, and it proves beyond any possible doubt that Republican voters are MORONS. Utter, abject, total, morons.

    Check out the numbers on birtherism.

    The party of James Joyner. The party Doug votes for. The party of MORONS.

  17. James Pearce says:

    That experience issue doesn’t seem to bother voters very much, though, and instead what we clearly are seeing here is evidence of a decidedly anti-establishment, anti-Washington, anti-politician mindset among Republicans that people like Trump, Carson, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina are benefiting from.

    It’s the CW that Carson and Trump are doing well because GOP voters are “anti-establishment, anti-Washington, anti-politician.”

    Truth is, though, that they just haven’t thought this all the way through. That much is clear.

    What do they think Trump/Carson are going to do if they win the presidency? Become our first anti-establishment, anti-Washington, anti-politician POTUS? It’s ridiculous. Do they not realize that the simple act of winning the election will moot all the reasons they supposedly love these guys?

  18. PJ says:

    @michael reynolds:

    This is nothing. Wait till the new PPP poll comes out. Rachel Maddow just did an exclusive, and it proves beyond any possible doubt that Republican voters are MORONS. Utter, abject, total, morons.

    Check out the numbers on birtherism.

    The party of James Joyner. The party Doug votes for. The party of MORONS.

    Obama, born in Hawaii. 29% of Republicans think that he was born in the US.
    Cruz, born in Calgary. 40% of Republicans think that he was born in the US…

    54% of Republicans think that Obama is a Muslim, only 14% think that he’s a Christian. Which means that almost four times as many believe that he’s a Muslim…

    Truly the party of the MORONS.

  19. stonetools says:

    This is what you get when you create a base of party voters that is fed nothing but right wing propaganda for 40 years. Not only do they believe your nonsense, but they now expect you to ACHIEVE your nonsense-and are mad at you when you DON’T achieve it. Republican voters have sent legions of politicians to Congress and the state houses promising to do the impossible and dammit, they WANT those unicorns and rainbows. Since the regular politicians aren’t doing what they said they would do, they are turning to the non-politicians.
    The non-politicians are winning precisely because they are telling the Republican base that they can get the magical version of America that they want, without having to compromise with reality. The establishment politicians are losing precisely to the extent that they are acknowledging that you do have to come to terms with reality.
    I’m not sure how you can turn off the tap, either. Things might change-but it looks like the Republican Party this time wants to ride the crazy all the way to November 2016. This time really might be different.

  20. stonetools says:

    That experience issue doesn’t seem to bother voters very much, though, and instead what we clearly are seeing here is evidence of a decidedly anti-establishment, anti-Washington, anti-politician mindset among Republicans that people like Trump, Carson, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina are benefiting from.

    Heh. I wonder how that mindset got there. Start with “government can’t fix the problem-it IS the problem” and go from there.
    Maybe it’s time to revisit the “fairness doctrine”. Liberals allowed it to be dismantled because they believed, falsely as it turned out, that the truth would win out in a free marketplace of ideas scenario. Well, they were wrong. Turns out the truth doesn’t even have a chance to win when you create a media space in which the truth is never heard, only lies that comfort the faithful. This is what you have in the right wing media sphere.It’s the creation of pure market forces, too. Turns out that conservatives will gladly pay for a media sphere that tells them what they want to hear, rather than what is true. And unfortunately, they vote in accordance with what they hear in that media sphere. It’s becoming a serious problem for democracy.

  21. ernieyeball says:

    @Hal_10000:..Political experience is one thing (especially for an executive). Spending your entire life in the halls of power is quite another.

    And restricting electors political freedom by prohibiting them from voting for a candidate who has held office for an arbitrary number of terms is yet another.
    Fifteen States impose term limits on their legislators.
    AZ AR CA CO FL LA ME MI MO MT NE NV OH OK SD.
    If anyone can demonstrate to me that the acts passed through these chambers are wiser and more efficient than laws passed by the other 35 states I will consider that term limits might be useful at the Federal level.

  22. Jerry Reed says:

    I’ll take either of these guys over Obama. I’m not a big fan of Trump but i do understand his popularity. The country wants someone who understands the private sector and who can create jobs. I’m talking real jobs instead of some type of Solyandra scam which was just a reward to Donors. The only business Obama understands are kickbacks from lobbyists and favors to mega donors like the Pritzker family.

    I look forward to the coming months watching most of you scratching your heads figuring out how Trump is still ahead in the polls. He’s looking pretty good compared to that criminal Hillary who may not be the nominee at this point.

  23. Kylopod says:

    @Jerry Reed:

    The country wants someone who understands the private sector and who can create jobs.

    Then you must really love Obama.

    “Obama’s second term is on pace to be the best ever for private sector job growth”

    You might as well say you support Trump because he’s a real black man and Obama is a fake one. Of course I’m not expecting you to say that (though it’s exactly the sort of thing Trump would say!), but it’s no less absurd than what you did say.

  24. Jerry Reed says:

    @Jerry Reed:

    Nice link, Here’s the truth from Politifact.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/nov/09/barack-obama/obama-2009-us-has-created-more-jobs-every-other-ad/

    I know you drink all the WH Cool-aid but do you really believe those unemployment numbers?

    Gallup says, “here’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

    Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

    There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie

    Also, please educate me of why certain measures of wages and income, the poverty rate and the duration of unemployment are all worse now than they were when Obama “came into office if things are so great?

  25. Kylopod says:

    @Jerry Reed: First, the Politifact article you cite isn’t a response to the Business Insider article I linked to. The BI article argued that Obama’s second term is on pace to be the best ever for private sector job growth compared with past US presidents, not compared with other countries during the Great Recession.

    Second, even the Politifact article never claims that Obama’s statement is totally false. It rates the statement “half true,” and admits that “you could make a case that Obama is right.” It never disputes that there has been a huge growth in private sector jobs during Obama’s presidency; it acknowledges it. It doesn’t even dispute that the US has done remarkably well during the recession compared with most other advanced countries. Its only beef is with Obama’s claim that it did better than all other advanced countries combined–and even then, the article admits it’s complicated.

    Finally, if you’re going to cite Politifact, why not take a look on its file for Donald Trump?

    True: 0
    Mostly True: 2
    Half True: 8
    Mostly False: 4
    False: 20
    Pants on Fire: 8

    For example:

    Trump said, “We have 93 million people out of work. They look for jobs, they give up, and all of a sudden, statistically, they’re considered employed.”

    That figure, boosted by Trump’s description, represents a basic misunderstanding of the labor market.

    Once you strip out full-time students, senior citizens, the disabled, and those who have chosen not to work to take care of their children, a more reasonable estimate of “out of work” Americans is somewhere in the neighborhood of 21 million, or less than a quarter of Trump’s figure. Meanwhile, he is flat wrong that the government reclassifies discouraged workers as “employed.”

    We rate his claim False.

  26. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jerry Reed:

    why certain measures of wages and income, the poverty rate and the duration of unemployment are all worse now than they were when Obama “came into office if things are so great?

    That one is easy, it is because Conservative conventional wisdom holds that the elements that you are noting are worse are reflections of the moral fiber of the nation rather than distortions of labor and employment. Even Jeb! a week or so back was noting that many of the people who are suffering in this current economy are suffering because they “need to work harder.”

    Conservatives don’t even count underemployment as a factor unless a Democrat is President; they said it didn’t even exist during Bush’s term.