(AP/Mediapunch)

Ben Carson is cratering: New polls show controversies taking a toll on the wingnut favorite

The surgeon is no longer surgin'


Sophia Tesfaye
November 20, 2015 1:15AM (UTC)

Ben Carson has seen his fair share of fumbles, and after weeks of increased scrutiny and a turn in the spotlight under pressure, it is safe to say that the good doctor is no Teflon Don.

A series of new polls out this week suggests that Carson's standing as a rising challenger to Donald Trump's long lasting dominance may be short-lived.

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"Carson Tops Trump in National Poll," the headlines read in late October, and again the next week. But then came West Point -- or was it the pyramid grain silos --- either way, Carson quickly found himself in all of the headlines for all of the wrong reasons shortly after catapulting to the top of the polls. And with the increased popularity in the polls came increased scrutiny in the media.

Carson did his best to deflect the drip, drop of revelations that his personal narrative of a young thug redeemed by Jesus was full of discrepancies, lashing out at the media and hunkering down. But then came the third GOP presidential debate and Carson just faded away on stage, only to be brought back to memory by Jay Pharoah's brutal comedic takedown of his "Gifted Hands" memoir on SNL.

In between, there were a number of terror attacks by ISIL, a bizarre claim by Carson that China is operating in Syria and a promise to provide his superior intelligence to prove it, and a disastrous Fox News interview where the political neophyte was unable to name even one specific allied partner in his plan to combat the terror group despite being asked three times by Chris Wallace.

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Then this week, two close Carson advisers even admitted to the New York Times that the candidate was in over his head on foreign policy and now, it appears as though some GOP voters may have caught on.

There is the new national poll from Bloomberg that places Trump only four points ahead of Carson, but that is about as much good news as the good doctor can squeeze out of a slate of new polls showing his September surge slumping in the wake of damming allegations that he embellished his past personal narrative. A breakdown of the Bloomberg poll lays out Carson's troubles vis-a-vis Trump front-and-center. In a head-to-head match-up, voters chose Trump over Carson on the economy, illegal immigration, fighting “Islamic terrorism,” handling Russian President Vladimir Putin, knowing the most about how to get things done and finally, having the most appropriate life experience to be president. Poor Ben.

For his part, Carson manages to grab the coveted candidate who “cares the most about people like you” top spot. And unsurprisingly, Republican voters still find Carson as the most honest and trustworthy of the entire bunch. Go figure.

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But unfortunately for Ben, the poll numbers only get worse after Bloomberg. Two new polls conducted entirely post-Paris attack show Carson losing ground in the first primary state in the nation.

A Fox News poll out Wednesday evening found the retired neurosurgeon only grabbing 9 percent support from Republicans in New Hampshire, leaving him in fourth place in the crucial Granite State. In contrast, Trump bumps up to 27 percent in the Fox News poll. Another New Hampshire poll from WBUR found Carson losing ground in the state, dropping from 15 percent to 11 percent to tie for second with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who saw his standing in the poll go up two points.

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Ben Carson Compares Refugees To Rabid Dogs


Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia TesfayeFOLLOW @SophiaTesfaye


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2016 Republican Primary Aol_on Ben Carson Ben Carson 2016 Polls

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