Is It Time For Ben Carson To Call It A Day?

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Feb 09, 2016 2:00 PM
Is It Time For Ben Carson To Call It A Day?

As New Hampshire votes today, the gifted neurosurgeon is registering near the bottom of the barrel concerning the polls, and there isn’t much hope he will do better as this primary continues. Granted, his campaign insists he’s going to stay in the race, but executed a Thursday Night Massacre last week, slashing staff as his campaign war chests aren’t as full as they were when he was a top tier candidate (via WaPo):

Ben Carson, the famed neurosurgeon whose bid for the Republican presidential nomination has struggled to keep pace with rivals, will cut more than 50 staff positions Thursday [Feb. 4] as part of an overhaul and downsizing of his campaign.

Salaries are being significantly reduced. Carson’s traveling entourage will shrink to only a handful of advisers. And instead of flying on private jets, Carson may soon return to commercial flights.

[…]

Campaign officials, who confirmed the moves after The Washington Post obtained an internal memo about the layoffs, stressed that key aides in upcoming GOP primary contests will remain in place and that Carson is determined to stay in the 2016 race.

But they acknowledged that Carson’s funds have diminished as he has fallen from the top tier, forcing him to make sweeping changes to a campaign that had swelled into a bustling operation of about 125 people.

While he finished fourth in Iowa, Carson is projected to garner three percent of tonight’s vote for an eighth place finish–behind Fiorina and Gov. Chris Christie:

Trump holds 31%, down two points from the February 3-6 release, but within the poll's margin of sampling error.

Behind him, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio earned 17% support -- within the margin of sampling error of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 14%, but significantly ahead of the fourth and fifth place candidates in the poll, Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 10% and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 7%.

Behind Bush, Carly Fiorina stands at 5%, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 4% and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 3%.

As we head into South Carolina, he’s trailing Bush, but maintaining another fourth place standing.

So, things don’t look better going into the Palmetto State, and they’re probably not going to get better heading into Super Tuesday. There doesn’t seem to be much of an avenue to clinch his way back into the top tier. It’s a solid three-man race between Trump, Cruz, and Rubio, though a small handful of polls are showing Bush at second (we’ll see about that … if true, it could be too little, too late). Even with Rubio’s less than stellar debate performance last Saturday, his campaign saw a surge in fundraising over his answer about abortion and social issues. Concerning Carson, his performance was soporific, though dotted with the usual quips. In other words, and this is for a long time now, the man just doesn’t have a presence that should get people excited about him. Maybe primary voters were excited about him for a hot second, given his incredible life story and anti-establishment sentiments, but as this marathon dragged on–people jumped ship.

We’ll see what happens after tonight.

Last Note: Also, look at what Fiorina, Kasich, and Christie do afterwards. I would add Bush, but he has money that can easily carry him through South Carolina. He could stick it out a bit longer.