Ben Carson Sinks On Doubts About His Foreign Policy

Ben Carson was riding high in the race for the Republican presidential nomination a month ago, a soft-spoken candidate with an uplifting biography and the outsider credibility that is in fashion this year. His calm demeanor seemed to be a soothing alternative for conservative voters who were not enamored with the idea of Donald J. Trump in the White House.

But after weeks of carnage inflicted by terrorists in France, Mali and Lebanon, doubts about Mr. Carson’s knowledge of the world have reversed his momentum. Now the retired neurosurgeon, whose sudden rise in polls surprised many, is being forced to regroup in the face of mounting evidence that voters are not sold on him.

new national poll from Quinnipiac University on Wednesday confirmed that Republican voters are keeping their options open. Tied with Mr. Trump in early November, Mr. Carson’s support was down seven percentage points, leaving him essentially tied for second place with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Support for Mr. Trump, who continues to lead, grew to 27 percent from 24 percent last month.

“Trump, even when he misspeaks, voters see him as someone who projects strength and confidence,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who served on Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008. “Carson’s style is good for his likability, but it does not invest confidence that he can get the job done.”

Read more from Alan Rappeport at The New York Times

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