Ben Carson is surging in the polls, but even though he has overtaken Donald Trump as the Republican frontrunner, many believe he will soon come crashing back to earth.
For much of the past few months, Carson was polling second behind Donald Trump among Republican voters. But that changed this week, with Carson finally catching up with Trump. An NBC News poll this week found both candidates receiving 26 percent support, with voters also saying they found Trump the best at leading the U.S. economy.
Carson has assumed the look of a frontrunner as well, including laying out this week his foreign policy plans. Carson discussed how he would handle war-torn Syria, including how to deal with Russia’s increasing involvement.
“My much bigger plan involves, you know, Putin and Iran also,” Carson said on ABC’s This Week. “Those are the forces that are propping up the Assad regime. And even though Putin came in there and said he was going to fight ISIS, he’s really fighting the anti-Assad forces. What we need to be thinking about is how do we oppose him?”
But many believe that Ben Carson will eventually drop in the polls as voters move toward candidates closer to the Republican establishment, like Marco Rubio and Chris Christie. Political analysts have compared Carson — and Trump as well — to past candidates like Herman Cain, who once surged to lead the Republican pack before falling back behind more established candidates (which in 2012 was Mitt Romney).
There are signs dating back weeks that Ben Carson will soon see a major drop in the polls. Nate Silver, founder of the site Fivethirtyeight.com, said he believes both Carson and Donald Trump have about a 5 percent chance of winning the nomination.
In an interview on CNN’s AC360, Silver noted that candidates like Trump and Carson have never won the GOP nomination. He also noted that polls this early in the election season are not terribly indicative of what will happen come primary season.
“If you look at the polling a lot of times, a candidate leading the polls now, mid-September didn’t win the nomination, didn’t even come close,” Silver said (via Brietbart). “So, if you look four years ago, Rick Perry was in the midst of a surge right now, and eight years ago on the Democratic side, you had Howard Dean — or 12 years ago, rather, Howard Dean was surging, Hillary Clinton was still way ahead of Barack Obama in 2008. Rudy Giuliani was leading the polls in 2008. I think people — there’s so much interest in this election, in this campaign, people forget that polls five months before Iowa, historically, have told you very, very little.”
Silver, who built a reputation in 2012 for being the most accurate of all pollsters, said voters are likely latching on to the candidates who stand out the most, which right now happens to be Trump and Carson. He noted that when it gets closer to the actual time to vote, many will move toward the more established candidates like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.
“It’s different when it gets down to someone’s been campaigning, they’ve knocked on your door, a lot of time, you talk with your friends and your neighbors. As much interest as there is in the campaign right now, it’s going to be probably about five times higher by the time we get to January and February, and so people are about 20% of their way to their decision-making process.”
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) November 1, 2015
While the drop may be coming, at the moment Ben Carson is still leading the polls and at this point would be heading into the primary season with the most momentum of all candidates. He also has shown to be a strong fundraiser, pulling in $10 million in October alone.
[Image via Instagram/Ben Carson]