Two opinion polls released during the week ending Oct. 23, 2015, have revealed that Donald Trump is trailing behind his presidential opponent, Ben Carson. According to media reports, Carson’s surge in Iowa polls might derail Trump’s 2016 presidential ambitions, as it will force him to re-work his strategy to the electorate. A Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday had Carson leading Trump by eight points before a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register survey found Carson leading the billionaire with 28 percent to 19 percent. However, Trump has laughed off the statistics, saying his Republican adversary will not make the numbers count as he lacks the energy to turn the tide in his favor.
Trump, who still maintains the lead in national polls for the Republican ticket, took to social media to denigrate the significance of his opponent’s lead in Iowa. The maverick politician retweeted a post from a supporter, saying, “Too much #Monsanto in the #corn creates issues in the brain?”, an apparent reference to Carson, who is a former neurosurgeon. Although Trump blamed the retweet on a “young intern” who “accidentally” posted the comment, the controversial Republican candidate went on to mock the soft-spoken politician. He suggested that his rival might not have heard or seen the effect of the two polls as he was probably “sleeping.” The real estate mogul then added, “Ben Carson is super-low energy, [America] need[s] tremendous energy.”
Carson, who also had a fair share of controversy following him after he said, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” cautiously welcomed the new poll results. The former neurosurgeon told reporters he will not sleep on the figures but will continue working hard to reach out to the electorate. Speaking to Bloomberg News after the release of the new polls, the 64-year-old politician acknowledged he is aware the voters think he is “half asleep.” He dismissed the label, saying, “I guarantee you: I’m awake.” It is fair to assume that his recent surge in Iowa polls has given him fresh impetus and might derail Trump’s ambitions to be the Republican forerunner in the 2016 presidential election.
Carson’s surge in the Iowa polls has been credited to evangelical voters in the state, where he has entrenched a network of Christians to his side. Analysts are of the considered view that this might derail Trump’s ambitions to eclipse other Republican candidates for the White House next year. He also has deep grass-roots support from home schoolers in Iowa. A high percentage of students in the state are home schoolers and according to reports, Carson’s story is taught and is part of the home school syllabus.
However, political observers have warned that opinion polls do not necessarily tip the scales in favor of the leading candidate. CNBC suggests both candidates will fall by the wayside as the voters make a final determination. This might then give Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio a chance to nose in front as the candidates reach the finishing line. On the other hand, religious experts have read the Iowa numbers in favor of the former medical professional as a serious red flag for Trump’s presidential ambitions.
Mark Silk, professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, wrote a recent post suggesting Republicans have struggled to reach out to evangelical voters. Silk also suggested that at the present moment, Carson has a slim chance to out-maneuver other candidates, since Rubio has been “shifting religious identities.” This probably suggests why he is third in the recent Quinnipiac poll and might not disturb Carson’s pole position in Iowa. The video below shows the surge Carson is currently enjoying in Iowa polls, which analysts suggest might derail Trump’s ambitions to win the Republican candidacy.
By Shepherd Mutsvara
CNBC: Is The Long awaited Trump Fade Finally Here?
New York Times: Second Iowa Poll in Two Days Shows Evangelicals Bolstering Ben Carson Ahead of Donald Trump
Newstalk 106-108Fm: Donald Trump Has Been Knocked off The Top of The Opinion Polls
Images Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License