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Dr. Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and A Surprise In Iowa

640px-Ben_Carson_by_Gage_Skidmore_4For months, Donald Trump has dominated the headlines and the polls. Now a new poll in Iowa tells a different story. According to a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll, Dr. Ben Carson, who has been consistently second behind Trump, is leading by nine points — 28 percent to 19 percent. An excerpt:

Even Carson’s most controversial comments — about Muslims, Hitler and slavery — are attractive to likely Republican caucusgoers. The poll shows just two perceived weaknesses: his lack of foreign policy experience and his research using fetal tissue during his medical career.

Carson’s support has jumped 10 percentage points since the last Iowa Poll in August, and Trump’s has fallen 4 points. This shift to a new pack leader is a thunderclap in the Republican presidential race.

“Donald Trump’s got a real problem,” GOP strategist Alex Castellanos told the Register. “Ben Carson is now the favorite to win Iowa.”

Does Trump have a “real problem?” Is this temporary or a sign of changing times? Caucusgoers chose Trump as the candidate they’d most like to see drop out of the race.

Sen. Ted Cruz is in third place, with Sen. Marco Rubio a close fourth.

“The outsiders are still beating the insiders, of course, but that’s not what is interesting,” Castellanos said told the Register. “What’s interesting is that the moral outsider (Carson) is whipping the businessman-not-politician-outsider (Trump) and crushing the hope-and-change insiders (Bush and Rubio).”

The poll does indicate that GOP voters might want someone who hasn’t held office before. Tired of business as usual?

Most caucusgoers (69 percent) said a Muslim president would be unacceptable. Seventy-three percent liked that Dr. Carson made the comment about it.

Photo credit: “Ben Carson by Gage Skidmore 4” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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