Roger L. Simon

Trump v. Carson: What the Latest Poll Tells Us

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Although Politico’s headline for the latest national Monmouth University Poll (released Thursday) trumpets (pun intended) “Trump hits 30 percent,” the devil, as always, is in the details.

And that devil or angel, depending where you sit, appears in a graph considerably down the page.  But before I quote it, it’s worth noting that only Ben Carson at 18% is currently in double-digits behind Donald. Bush, Cruz, Rubio, Fiorina and Huckabee (in that order) are just hanging in there.  Walker is in free fall.  Now here’s that graph:

He’s [Carson] the only Republican who would beat Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up, according to the poll. Carson would thump Trump 55 percent to 36 percent if the two were to square off.

“Thump Trump”? Whodathunkit? At some point a number of these also-rans are going to drop out.  Then what happens?  Also worth noting, the doctor  has the highest favorability at 67% and the lowest negative at 6%

Slightly more than a week ago,  I wrote a post “Is the Election Trump’s to Lose?” that became quite popular and went to the top of Real Clear Politics. Do I have to revise it already?  They don’t call me the Mad Voter for nothing…. Well, not really.  Trump is clearly still well in the lead and this is only one poll.

Nevertheless, Carson is consistently generating exceptional numbers.  Further, the brain surgeon is a difficult man to attack head on.  His life story virtually dwarfs (trumps?) anyone’s to run for president since Lincoln’s.  Maybe it surpasses Lincoln, who only split logs.  Caron split heads — and then sewed them up again. And Carson’s’ political inexperience only makes him more attractive to voters  who are oh-so-fed-up with politics as usual and yearn for authenticity. (Think Founding Fathers)

Are we looking  at a Trump/Carson ticket…. or even the other way around?  (Hard to see Trump playing second fiddle to anyone)  But the doctor should be very attractive to Trump. He anesthetizes Donald against myriad accusations.

Yes, yes, yes, it’s very early, as every pundit from here to Pluto tells us.  Giuliani was ahead, Howard Dean was before his primal scream. But this year is different.  And I suspect all bets are off.  As William Goldman famously said about Hollywood, “Nobody knows anything.”