The Former GOP Frontrunner Has Fallen in Recent Polls
By Gabriel Davila
Most candidates worry about a significant drop in polls, Ben Carson did not express much concern while his popularity dropped to 11 percent.
In an interview with CNN back in December, Carson said “When people were asking me when I was polling at the top spot was I excited, I said no, because polls go up and down, and I will say that now, I think you will see them continue to rise…very few people can sustain the kinds of attacks I have and still be at this level, so that tells you that there is a strong base of support.”
The considerable drop in popularity did not occur at random. After the Paris bombings on November 13, Carson made remarks which displayed his lack of foreign policy knowledge. He said that the Chinese were a part of militaristic moves in Syria, which was debunked, and could not name any countries that could join together against the ISIL.
Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, benefitted from Carson’s lack of knowledge. Ted Cruz said in an interview with Fox, “President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s idea that we should bring tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees to America: it is nothing less than lunacy. The US should not allow jihadists to come back to America using US passports to murder innocent men and women.”
Ted Cruz’s stance on the terrorism issue brought him momentum, currently at 18 percent in South Carolina, taking Ben Carson’s previous second place position in polls. Like Carson, Cruz keeps his eye on the conservative party where a majority of his votes come from. If Cruz broadens his focus towards semi-conservative voters, he could gather more support to rival Donald Trump.
Carson also lost his communications director, Doug Watts, and campaign manager, Barry Bennett. The reason behind why Doug Watts and Barry Bennett left was because of discord between them and Carson’s business advisor, Armstrong Williams.
“I called Ben this morning…and explained to him the root of the problem is that you told me Armstrong is not involved in the campaign but he clearly is,” Bennett said to the Daily Mail on December 31st. “My frustration level is boiling over so I told him I think it’s best that I leave.”
According to The Hill, Armstrong Williams has been known to step in as Carson’s enforcer when the presidential candidate would rather eschew confrontation. Williams describes himself as a business partner and close friend to Carson.After the loss, Carson has a few plans to boost his position in polls.
According to MSNBC, Carson plans on a partnership with Christian rock band, Casting Crowns, as well as Growing Pains actor Kirk Cameron to boost his standing with evangelical voters.
Carson’s campaign focuses on the conservative party, such as evangelists in South Carolina and Iowa, explaining why he travels back and forth between both states while avoiding New Hampshire due to its more modern perspective.
In an article by Politico, Ben Carson made a stop in Staten Island and spoke to a crowd at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel. “I was in New York for some meetings and I said, ‘Can’t we go to Staten Island? Because a lot of people would like that.”
Visiting Staten Island was not an accidental decision. Staten Island is known for being the most conservative borough in New York and is more than likely to vote Republican.
Carson could also promote his latest book “A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties,” another method to garner support from conservative voters and students who read and became inspired by his other book “Gifted Hands.”
The Iowa Caucus begins on February 1 and Carson cannot afford a hefty loss. Bustle reported that over 17,000 precincts such as schools and churches, people gather statewide to discuss candidates.
Whichever candidates have the most votes moves to the county convention, the congressional district convention, and finally, the state convention in June.