As expected, the GOP presidential field has thinned significantly following the Iowa caucus last week and New Hampshire primary this week. After Iowa, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul bowed out of the race. And just yesterday, Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina announced they would be suspending their bids, following poor showings in New Hampshire and Iowa.
Many have wondered how long another candidate who fared poorly in the first two races will continue on in the race. Now, Ben Carson has made his intentions clear.
Via The Washington Times:
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who finished in eighth place in New Hampshire this week after a fourth-place finish in Iowa, says he’s getting pleas from supporters to soldier on in the 2016 presidential race.
“I still have millions of supporters. … We have a lot of people who continue to make donations, and they’re saying, ‘Please, please, please, please don’t drop out. Please stay in, because your strong states are going to be coming up,’” Mr. Carson said in an interview that aired on Wednesday’s “Hannity” program on Fox News.
“And I believe that to be the case. I believe you will see a significant improvement right here in South Carolina, and the more times we have an opportunity to get in front of audiences and actually explain what our policies are, it makes a huge difference,” he said.
Mr. Carson did not devote as much time or energy to New Hampshire as other candidates did. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina both suspended their campaigns on Wednesday after disappointing finishes there.
“You have to pick your battles,” Mr. Carson said. “I believe that our message is going to resonate extremely strongly here in South Carolina, and in a number of other states that are coming up in the relatively near future as well.”
Mr. Carson says he’s in the race for a different reason than everyone else.
“They have their own personal reasons, but I was petitioned by the people — I’m a member of ‘we the people,’ ” he said. “And as long as I have the support of ‘we the people,’ I will continue to go, particularly with them saying please don’t drop out.”
Carson’s deferral to the “we the people” is admirable, and one of the reasons he resonates with conservatives. On the other hand, so far — in Iowa and New Hampshire — “we the people” have not expressed their support for Carson when it came time to choose. While fewer people, including the candidate himself, expected Carson to do well in New Hampshire, many thought Iowa should’ve been a strong state for the candidate.
That said, one still has to question why Iowa and New Hampshire carry so much symbolic weight in our process, given that they’re not necessarily reflective of the wider voting populace.
In any case, South Carolina will be very telling for Dr. Carson.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]