Monday, October 26, 2015

Candidate watch: Carson ahead in Iowa polls, "calm" manner assures voters in spite of his extreme rhetoric

The NY Times carries this piece on Carson's appeal to the GOP voters in Iowa.

His supporters cite Mr. Carson’s character, not his positions, as the main reason they back him.

"That smile and his soft voice makes people very comforted," said Miriam Greenfield, a farmer in Jewell, Iowa.

Well, we should have expected that. The political science research shows that candidates' appearances matter more than what comes out of their mouths.

Mr. Carson’s support has not been dimmed by his statements on the unsuitability of a Muslim to be president; his linking of gun control and the Holocaust; and his likening of President Obama’s health care law to slavery. On the contrary, 57 percent of Republicans in the Register poll rated as "very attractive" his comparison of the health care law to slavery, and 73 percent said his opposition to a Muslim as president made him more attractive.

In case you ever thought of Carson as a calm, mild-mannered middle of the road kind of guy, check out his stance on abortion in cases of rape or incest.

On Sunday, Mr. Carson gave critics more fuel by opposing abortion in cases of rape or incest, saying on NBC’s "Meet the Press" that "I would not be in favor of killing a baby because the baby came about in that way."

And Republican women love this guy.

What is more, Mr. Carson’s provocative comments on topics like Nazism and slavery, which pundits and commentators regularly denounce, seem only to deepen the enthusiasm his evangelical base feels for him. He has connected with Republican women here, who prefer him to Mr. Trump.

Go figure.

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