Hey Donald! Watch Out ’Cause Heeeere’s Carson

If there’s anyone voters in the crucial primary state of Iowa love more than an anti-establishment outsider, it’s a likable one. And right now, GOP White House hopeful Ben Carson is claiming that title — much to the likely dismay of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

For the first time in months, GOP front-runner Donald Trump is sharing the top spot in an Iowa poll, with Carson tying the boastful mogul with 23 percent, according to a new Monmouth University poll of likely Hawkeye State Republican caucus-goers. Fellow outsider Carly Fiorina, also on a surge since the first GOP debates, came in third with 10 percent — meaning that the majority of those surveyed favor someone who has never before been elected to any public office anywhere.

Trump may have established himself as the newfangled maverick with his brash and sometimes abrasive style. But Carson, the Detroit-born neurosurgeon in his first bid for national office, seems to have honed in on the one thing Trump lacks: likeability.

“They love the way a guy like Carson communicated his message,” said conservative GOP strategist Greg Mueller of Carson, noting that 81 percent of those in the Iowa poll rated Carson favorably, with only 6 percent expressing a negative opinion.

“His likeability is worth its weight in gold,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell.

Read more from Kimberley Atkins at The Boston Herald

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Analysis & Political Strategy