The neurosurgeon, who has never held elected office, is emerging from the middle tier as a top contender after the first Republican debate.
Carson, the only black candidate in the 2016 presidential field, is polling at 12 percent in a national Fox News poll out Sunday and 14 percent in a CNN Iowa poll out last week — good enough for second place in the GOP field behind only Donald Trump. Carson is in third place in a national CNN poll out Tuesday.
So, what’s behind Carson’s rise to the top tier?
The candidate is not the most eloquent in the Republican field, nor does he have the most experience or money. But in a campaign that has so far revolved around Donald Trump, Ben Carson brings to the table much of what Trump is – a Washington outsider, not a politician, authentic and genuine — without the bombast and spectacle.