Carson is getting major attention for taking the lead spot in recent Iowa polls. He’s the first candidate to overtake Trump anywhere, and a win in Iowa might be the key to derailing Trump’s national momentum.
Carson is riding the unique evangelical dynamic in Iowa, which went for Pat Robertson, Huckabee and Santorum in past elections.
However, I think there is a real possibility that another evangelical could swing into Iowa and unseat Carson at the last minute, by attacking him on his evangelical bona fides.
National media is focusing on his appeal and network among the home school demographic. However, a very influential figure in that arena is not supporting Carson and points to areas of Carson vulnerability on the abortion issue, which is the ultimate litmus for these voters.
Trump has keyed in on Carson’s Seventh Day Adventist denomination. It’s perceived by some to be on the fringe (or could be portrayed to be by a PAC-backed attack ad), and this certainly could be exploited to make Iowa evangelicals skittish on Carson.
A Carson key advisor is under scrutiny for supporting the Nation of Islam – again, more fodder.
Finally, Carson has said a lot of things that could be used in ads to portray him as unelectable…scaring off Iowa voters at the last minute.
And then there is the time he attempted to murder someone.
It all adds up. So what will the modern day Lee Atwaters do with this?
Several candidates like Rubio, Cruz and Bush are sitting on piles of Super PAC money. They are keeping their powder dry. But watch what happens the last couple weeks in Iowa.
Any of those guys could go on a suicide mission of mutually assured destruction and spend $30M to saturate Iowa airwaves in the final week and take down Carson. Then, someone else will emerge to win the evangelical vote and take Iowa.