Carson Tops Poll While Trump Swats Gnats

G.O.P. candidate Ben Carson tops the CBS-New York Times poll for Tuesday, October 27, 2015, leading Donald Trump by four points, 26 percent to 22 percent. While both former Democrats are united in their outsider status among the Republican contenders, Carson’s soft-spoken manner makes him the polar opposite of Trump whose brash public comments have invited hostility or derision from critics and adulation from die-hard followers.

It is the second time Trump has not led a national G.O.P. survey since early July, the first time being behind Jeb Bush and this second time behind Ben Carson. The new poll shows a 10-point swing in the former brain surgeon’s favor since the last CBS poll survey of Republican voters in early October.

That both men have never held public office before appeals to voters tired of political hacks, especially with Carson being a respected surgeon and Trump a successful businessman. The two also echo similar sentiments in terms of hot issues, though Carson tops the poll by dissecting problems with a scalpel, while Trump attacks them with broadsword and axe.

According to CBS News, Carson is taking a lead among disparate Republican alliances. In a reversal from earlier this month, he is running past Trump among women and keeping abreast of him among men. On the evangelical front, Carson tops the poll over Trump by more than 20 points with Bible advocates.

The Globe and Mail shows how Carson tops the poll by telling his very American rags-to-riches story to Americans who pursue “the dream.” As the son of a single mother who cleaned houses, Carson grew up in depressed inner-city Detroit, but overcame the odds by eventually graduating from Yale University and the University of Michigan Medical School. His crowning moment was when President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008, for his contributions as a neurosurgeon to medicine and philanthropy.

Unlike Carson, what made Trump come out at the top in the early stages of the poll race was his in-your-face approach to issues the “silent majority” has been tiptoeing around in the name of political correctness. Noted for his grand tactics in real estate that earned him billions of dollars, Trump opened up with the war-cry of “the silent majority is back, and we’re going to take our country back.” According to the New York Times, he praised Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Mariposa County for catching illegal immigrants, commiserated with the father of a teenager killed in 2008 by an illegal, and lambasted illegals crossing the United States-Mexico border, including rapists and criminals.

Cited as Trump’s drawback is his taking personal swipes at media critics and political rivals who disagree with him. This preoccupation that detracts from his main agenda is viewed by potential voters as poor form for a future leader.

On Muslim matters that have raised the hackles of many conservative Americans, Trump has taken a wait-and-see attitude, while Carson has been surprisingly forthright despite his soft-spoken demeanor. The retired surgeon who now tops the G.O.P. poll says “no” to a Muslim becoming a U.S. president and declares that Islam is not consistent with the U.S. constitution, the Guardian reports.

Pursuant to his public comments, Carson tops the poll by continuing to warn the public of Islamic sharia and taqiyya, according to Washington Post.

In Carson’s view, a Muslim running for office should be one who has “publicly rejected all the tenets of sharia and lived a life consistent with that.” Sharia pertains to Islamic law preventing the assimilation of Muslims with the rest of secular society, and perpetuating the subjugation of women by requiring them to hide their faces in a head covering.

In terms of “taqiyya,” Carson defines it as “a component of sharia that allows, and even encourages you to lie to achieve your goals.”

As Carson tops the G.O.P. poll with his low-key delivery of profound messages, he may have a lesson or two for Trump preoccupied with swatting gnats.

[Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]