Ben Carson, Beating All Comers

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ben Carson, Beating All Comers.

The usual way that people talk about the Republican primary polls has a basic flaw. Ben Carson, the soft-spoken former neurosurgeon, has for the first time knocked repellent loudmouth Donald Trump out of the top spot in the Republican nomination race.Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes a picture with supporters following a rally at West High School in Sioux City, Iowa, on Tuesday night. (Nati Harnik | The Associated Press) The typically brash and boastful Republican presidential candidate asked a crowd in Iowa for some help Tuesday night — to improve his suddenly slipping poll numbers there, according to reports and video of the speech. “Iowa, will you get your numbers up, Iowa, please?” the billionaire businessman said in a semi-playful manner to the crowd of more than 2,000 at a rally at a high school in Sioux City. “Will you get these numbers up?

They are but a few of the words used in recent weeks to describe the presidential campaign of Jeb Bush, who enters Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate living under a cloud of diminishing expectations. According to a poll released by CBS News/New York Times on Tuesday, Carson, now at 26 per cent, is four points ahead of Trump at 22 per cent, while the other GOP presidential hopefuls languish in the single digits. I promise you: I will do such a good job.” But this time, the former Atlantic City casino mogul arrived after four polls in the last week showed him losing his lead in the polls there to retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Looming over him are three people whom the former Florida governor and presumed frontrunner turned struggling challenger never thought he would have to confront this early in the race for the White House: his brother, his disciple and Donald Trump.

Trump had been leading the pack for a good number of months: time he has used to spew nonsense about building a wall along the Mexican border and amending the Constitution to facilitate a massive deportation of millions of illegal immigrants. A New York Times/CBS News survey released Tuesday also showed him trailing Carson nationally — his first time in three months that he wasn’t leading a nationwide poll.

Bush’s campaign remains confident the business-themed Colorado debate will offer an opportunity for Bush to shine in the area in which he flourishes the most – economic policy – but supporters, strategists and especially other establishment Republicans described an intense pressure on him to regain control as the self-described “grownup” in the room. “I think this is a very consequential debate for Jeb,” said Rick Wilson, a Florida-based Republican strategist unaffiliated with any campaigns. “He’s in the middle of trying to reboot a campaign that’s felt kind of snake-bit for the last few weeks.” “He’s got to prove that policy matters,” said John Feehery, a Republican strategist and pundit. “Right now, policy is an insignificant part of this whole discussion and experience doesn’t matter. Perhaps just as important as respondents’ first choices right now are their second and third choices, not to mention their last choices — that is, the candidates for whom they almost certainly will not vote. Jeb’s strength is his ability to formulate policy and lead change in government, and he’s got to show that experience does matter.” It is a markedly different place than Bush, the son and brother of two former presidents, expected to be when he entered the race in June with a record $100m to support his campaign. To get a full picture of the Republican electorate, The Upshot created an experiment with two social scientists — Barry Nalebuff and Alan Gerber, both at Yale — and the survey team at Google.

Carson’s appeal is obvious: he grew up poor in a single-parent household from the age of eight, raised by a mother with only a third grade education. Bush has struggled to gain traction amid the rise of Trump, the bombastic real-estate mogul who has made the establishment-backed Bush into his personal punching bag. That data then allows us to examine the field in many iterations, including head-to-head matchups and various scenarios in which some candidates drop out.

The Bush campaign on Tuesday dropped a new two-minute video aimed squarely at Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, not a Republican rival. “Hillary is not a moderate” comes up on screen. Then there are quick cuts of punditry and Clinton speeches intended to tie her directly to her former boss and charge that she would be a third term for Barack Obama. Carson then starting writing weekly columns for the Washington Times and giving regular speeches, including one at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013, where he ripped into President Barack Obama who was sitting mere feet away. News of a 40% cut to his campaign staff’s payroll last week, coupled with a donor retreat in Houston this week that took on the aura of an urgent strategy session, further compounded a sense of urgency around Bush’s campaign. Halfway through, the mood changes and Jeb! appears on screen. “I reject the pessimism of the left that just thinks we have to become more dependent on government,” Mr.

He has since earned the reputation as a sharp, straight-talking conservative commentator, while still looking as if he’s popped two Xanax each time he steps up to the mic. Eric Cantor, the former Republican House majority leader who is backing Bush, said it was “typical of the media” to hit the panic alarm when there was ample time for the campaign to make its case to voters.

Then the ad wraps up with a whirl-through of Bush looking energetic, promoting jobs, and saying “I know how to do this!” Probably because he and his advisers calculate that his best chance remains punching up, portraying himself as an equal to the presumptive Democratic nominee and arguing (implicitly) that he’s the person best positioned to defeat her. Carson partially conceded to Trump’s anti-vaccination garbage in a GOP debate in September, saying that we ought to spread out children’s vaccine schedules But style, needless to say, is not equal to substance. Trump then told the crowd his poll numbers actually aren’t that bad and reminded them that he is leading his 14 GOP rivals — including New Jersey Gov. And while he acknowledged that the debates have had “an outsized importance this cycle” due to a crowded Republican field – now at 15 candidates, down from 17 – Cantor said all Bush needed to do was be himself. “He clearly stands out in this field of candidates as the only one who is experienced and has a record to come in and fix the mess that Obama and [Democratic leaders] Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have caused over the last seven years,” Cantor said. “I think that’s what Jeb will lay out [at the debate], and how his experience as governor of Florida is commensurate with the task ahead of the country.” To achieve that, Bush will have to contend with another key rival: Florida senator Marco Rubio, a longtime friend and former ally who outshone Bush in the first two presidential debates. Indeed, Carson’s soft-spoken hypocrisy echoes loudest when he pontificates about science: he’s a medical doctor, after all, who in 2012, said that Darwin came up with the theory of evolution because he was encouraged by the devil.

Chris Christie — in most national polls, as well as in other key states, like New Hampshire and South Carolina. “I have such an unbelievable relationship with the people of Iowa, that I think we’re gonna win,” he said to cheers from the crowd. “Because I am the real deal, I will tell you. Carson has also attacked Planned Parenthood for donating aborted fetal tissue for medical research, though he himself conducted research on aborted fetuses for a paper published in 1992. It was that very argument advisers sought to use against Rubio at a gathering of donors this week in Houston, Texas, which saw the Bush family rally around the third potential president bearing their name – and saw Rubio featured prominently in a slideshow as “a GOP Obama”. It’s not just Carson’s unabashed duplicity when it comes to matters of science, but also his shattering deafness in the face of a wide variety of social and political issues. He said that if Jews had guns they might have prevented the Holocaust, which is both mind-bogglingly one-dimensional and historically meaningless, especially as a contemporary argument against gun control.

Bush’s time, he added, was best spent on Trump and exposing the base’s outsider of choice as a fraud conservative. “Let’s be honest about it: Jeb has one external asset, which is his donor base,” Wilson said. “He has been losing those people’s confidence drip-drip-drip.” “If he doesn’t perform well, it’s going to be tough for Jeb to get on the phone and say I’m winning, send me a max-out contribution. Primary political endorsements aren’t usually advertisements per se – they’re a means for insiders to signal preferences to each other and for party leaders to coalesce around a preferred candidate. Unless he’s winning, he’s not winning.” To say that his inability to overcome the Trump phenomenon has frustrated Bush would be an understatement. With the help of Google Consumer Surveys, which samples individuals who respond to surveys to gain access to premium content on selected websites, we surveyed 6,072 people who report themselves as being either very likely to or will definitely vote in a Republican primary. He has argued that he would cut off federal funding to universities housing “extreme political bias,” declining to elaborate on how the government would monitor and/or identify “extreme bias,” or how his plan doesn’t constitute a gross violation of free speech, and he compared abortion to slavery in arguing that it should be made illegal in all cases, including rape.

And still, one of his most stunning responses came when he was asked if he was planning to meet the families of the victims of the recent mass shooting in Oregon; Carson replied that he was very busy but that he probably “would go to the next one.” At a certain point, gaffes are less “mistakes” than they are evidence. Elect Trump if you want that.” In arguably the most notable shift in his campaign, Bush turned at the donor and family meeting in Texas to an unexpected source of help: his brother, George W Bush. Our survey was taken Oct. 21-22 and we’ve weighted the Google survey results so that the participants match the age and gender balance seen in the 2012 Republican primary.

It was unclear how the Jeb campaign would use the former president in public – if at all – as his mixed legacy plays out to this day with continued unrest in Iraq. Indeed, when the room is quiet enough to hear what Ben Carson is actually saying, it becomes obvious that his ideas are just as logically inconsistent, logistically infeasible and occasionally, as grossly moronic as those of Donald Trump. He has only deployed the elder Bush in private settings, and the rare public sit-down in Houston was a sign of the respect “Dubya” still carries in donor circles.

Rubio is generally stronger with Republican men than women, which is potentially a problem for a party that has recently struggled to win a large share of the female vote in general elections. We encourage readers to read that piece and to dig into the data for themselves. (You can find it here.) If you find something interesting, let us know, on Twitter, on Facebook or in the comments section below.

Google’s results generally appear quite close to those of other surveys, a Pew analysis found, and these results in particular resemble those from other recent polls of Republicans. (In 2012, as Nate Silver has noted, Google was actually more accurate than many traditional polls.) But we would caution against putting too much weight on small differences among candidates. Instead of just asking for their first choice, asking likely voters to rank their choices provides a fundamentally richer insight into the true will of the people.

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