Ben Carson: The choice of Republican millennials?

Last month, Carson topped the Harvard University’s Institute of Politics millennial poll, a nationwide survey focused 18- to 29-year-olds. Though the poll did not present a clear GOP front-runner among that age set, the results showed Carson narrowly ahead of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

Millennials make up nearly a quarter of the U.S. population and currently outnumber the baby boomers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And with their voting participation on the rise, this group could become a crucial element in the 2016 election season.

Doug Watts, the communications director for Carson’s 2016 presidential campaign, credits name recognition as the foundation of any candidate trying to win votes.

“The two sets of groups that seem to know Ben Carson really well [are] people 45 and older and people 18- to 24-year-olds,” Watts said. “The younger voters know [a] lot more about Ben Carson than the general public. They were assigned [to] reading his books. They were aware of [his] story.”