While Donald Trump managed to suck most of the air out of the first Republican presidential debate, Carson’s limited sound bites, delivered with his usual mellowness, managed to make an impression. Since then, he’s moved into second place in some polls and, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News survey, his favorability numbers are much better than the race’s front-runner. And as presidential candidates spent the last day of the third quarter making desperate pleas for money to their e-mail lists, another sign of Carson’s growing popularity became public: 353,000 donors made 600,000 donations to his campaign, giving him a third-quarter haul of $20 million. 
During a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Carson touched on the strength of his fundraising. Asked what he would do to get money out of politics, he said he’d keep doing what he’s doing. “I have not gone out licking the boots of billionaires and special-interest groups. I’m not getting into bed with them,” he said. Pundits and experts predicted his lack of major donors would prevent him from launching a national campaign, he said, “but they forgot about one very important factor: the people. And the people are funding us.”…

Supporters at Carson’s town-hall meeting at the University of New Hampshire said they like him because he’s a Christian, he’s modest, and he has integrity. Some said they appreciate that he doesn’t just blame Democrats, but acknowledges that the Republican Party has let them down, too. Others like that he talks about the issues and, in their opinion, offers solutions. (When asked during a news conference on Wednesday about what he would do as president if Hurricane Joaquin made landfall, Carson replied, “I don’t know.”)