Carson's Absence Making Iowans' Hearts Grow Fonder
Via NBC News:
Ben Carson is defying Iowa caucus logic. He has visited the state on just two days over the last two months and doesn't intend to return until nearly a month from now. Yet he is leading in the polls here -- and nationally.
"It's always nice to be back in Iowa. Last time I was here it was so hot," Carson said while stopping in the state earlier this month -- his first visit since he stopped by the Iowa State Fair in August.
Hillary Clinton's loss in the 2008 caucuses was in part blamed on her lack of retail politics here. Meanwhile, candidates like Rick Santorum have traditionally been able to pull out surprise wins by traveling every inch of the state. In 2012, Santorum visited each one of the state's 99 counties and cashed in on that retail approach with a narrow victory.
To be sure, the Super PACs mentioned in the post are helping Carson in the state, but as we saw with both Rick Perry and Scott Walker, money can't always buy you love in Iowa. It couldn't even keep Walker from a free-fall there.
What this is even more indicative of is the fact that the people who like Carson, really, really like him. They're the nice older people you see writing checks at the grocery store and they are writing checks to Carson too.
He had a devout group of Americans all over who were just waiting for him to run and they aren't the kind of constituency who is going to flee because he got busy elsewhere. Carson's following is as committed as Trump's, they just aren't as loud.