Ben Carson Polls Well With Republican Voters, & There's No Sign He's Slowing Down Post-GOP Debate
There are currently 17 Republicans running for president, but Ben Carson is the only one who has separated conjoined twins. Although you probably hadn't heard of him before he announced his candidacy in May, you might have a pretty good reason to remember his name now. That's because Carson has been polling well with Republican voters, a fact that helped land him in last Thursday's prime-time debate, and may in fact prove more true since his appearance on stage.
Thursday's debate featured the top 10 Republican candidates, as judged by the polls. If you've been following the election — or even if you've just been waiting to see what Donald Trump will do next — you've probably seen that most polls have Trump pulling far ahead of the other GOP candidates. Leading up to the debate, Carson was sitting somewhere in the middle of that top 10, comfortable enough to make it safely into the prime-time slot, but not comfortable enough to start acting like a loose cannon on stage.
Looking at the race as a whole, Carson has never really seemed out of it. Despite being relatively unknown until now and despite some campaign chaos, his numbers have remained steady. After the debate, they even appear to be growing.
In early June, just about a month after he kicked off his campaign, Carson stood in a statistical tie for the lead in at least two credible polls. Experts credited this early standing at least partially to his timing. He joined a crowded field, when a single percentage point could make or break a candidate. He also launched his campaign before Trump, and these polls didn't account for that.
No matter how he got there, Carson has certainly been able to maintain or improve his standing in the polls since then. By mid-June, Carson topped the Republican field in a poll from Monmouth University. He led with 11 percent of voters, followed by Scott Walker at 10 percent and Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio tied at nine percent. This poll did take Trump into account, reporting that he had just 2 percent of the vote.
As Trump and Bush surged in the polls, Carson fell in the rankings, but not far enough back to cut him out of the race. A Public Policy Polling report released on Tuesday, just ahead of the first debate, had Carson still holding 11 percent of the vote, at least in the Midwest. This time, however, 11 percent put him in fourth, behind Walker, Trump, and Bush. Nationally, the rankings were similar, with Carson coming in fifth in the average that Fox News used to determine the debate lineup.
After the debate, Carson received a spike in support. According to a post-debate poll conducted by Gravis Marketing, 22 percent of Republican participants said Carson won the debate, putting him at the top of the leader board. Only 19 percent said that Trump won the debate. What's more, just four percent of people said Carson lost the debate, ranking him among the lowest-voted "losers." A whopping 80 percent of Republican participants said that they viewed Carson more favorably after the debate — the largest percentage of the field.
Despite the crowded field of candidates, Carson could be making a name for himself among voters. With these numbers, he'll likely remain in the top 10 and make it to the next debate, which is scheduled for September.