Polls change. Poll averages lag. But the last six days of polling have been very kind to Ben Carson. Over the last week, Ben Carson has emerged as the new national frontrunner and if this trend continues, Donald Trump will be under enormous pressure to adapt to the new reality.
Here’s a summary of the last six days of polling. On the 22nd we had two polls: In Wisconsin WPR and St. Norbert had Carson up 20-18 over Trump, and in Iowa Quinnipiac had Carson up 28-20 over Trump.
On the 23rd, DMR and Bloomberg had Carson up 28-19 over Trump.
On the 25th, CBS was very kind to Trump. They had a tie in Iowa 27-27, while Trump led New Hampshire 38-12 and South Carolina 40-23, both over Carson.
On the 26th, Monmouth showed Carson up 32-18 over Trump in Iowa, and Loras College said it was 31-19 in the same state.
Finally today we see that what CBS gives, it takes away. CBS says Ben Carson has a national lead of 26-22 over Donald Trump.
That’s 9 polls over the last 6 days. Carson went 6 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie. That’s called winning. Ben Carson is winning. That’s not to say Ben Carson will remain winning, but right now he is. That’s why Erick Erickson is right to say that this is a crisis for Trump, the candidate who has built so much of his rhetoric around winning.
It also matters what Ben Carson will do about it. Will he cement his gains by doing well in the debate? Will he continue to put a priority on the book tour? Squandering this lead by stepping away from his campaign would be a betrayal of all the supporters who have worked so hard to get him to this point.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Carson’s surge damages both Trump’s campaign, by ending his air of inevitability, along with his own campaign, by being the dog that caught the car.
Photo by John Pemble on Flickr