Donald Trump, Ben Carson Surge When Media Attacks

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

It is no accident that Dr. Ben Carson is enjoying one of his biggest lifts in the polls as the media savages him for views that offended them. It is a formula that has upended the GOP nomination fight.

Recall: just over a week ago, GOP candidate Carson drew heavy attacks from the media for saying that he wouldn’t support a Muslim for the Presidency. Predictably, the media was outraged and promoted radical Muslim activist group CAIR to condemn Carson’s remarks.

Less predictably, Carson suffered no negative impact on his standings in the polls. Rather, in the latest poll of the Republican nomination, Carson surged into a lead. The most recent IBD/TIPP poll found Carson leading the GOP field with 24 percent, followed by Donald Trump at 17 percent and Marco Rubio at 11 percent.

During the second GOP debate, businesswoman Carly Fiorina scored the most points with a passionate attack on Planned Parenthood and the scandal engulfing the organization over its alleged harvesting and selling of baby organs. It was a moment widely credited as a reason she “won” the debate.

Her exchange on the issue was so powerful, in fact, that in days after the debate the media devoted enormous time to “debunk” her statements on Planned Parenthood. On ABC News, Clinton-confidante George Stephanopoulos grilled Fiorina on the subject, claiming that the scene she described in the videos didn’t happen.

The interview was likely more time than ABC News has devoted to the scandal since it first broke earlier this year.

The Stephanopoulos attack with just the tip of the media spear. In the days following the debate, the media tried to “fact-check” Fiorina’s business career and criticized her management of computer firm Hewlett-Packard.

The end result of these attacks saw Fiorina’s poll numbers rise in the race for the nomination. After languishing with the margin of error for most of the summer, Fiorina is now in the top tier of GOP candidates and polling well in early states.

Of course, Carson and Fiorina drawing strength in the wake of relentless attacks by the media are just the latest examples of a phenomenon that has dramatically changed the GOP nomination.

Since Donald Trump first announced his campaign for the White House, he has been subjected to one blistering media assault after another. The attacks began when he noted the rampant criminal activity of recent illegal immigrants and have rarely let up throughout the campaign.

Trump was even subjected to a withering attack from many personalities on Fox News, the most watched cable station among Republicans. With each attack, however, Trump seemed to draw more strength in the polls.

The end result of the media attacks on Trump was his dominance of the field for the Republican nomination. His hold on the top spot has already forced serious candidates Rick Perry and Scott Walker out of the race. Many others stand on the precipice of an early exit.

The common denominator in all of the media attacks against the Republican outsiders is that the candidates are voicing positions much more closely aligned with the views of the public than the mavens on 6th Avenue.

The public sees there is an unreported crime wave committed by illegal immigrants. A large portion of the voting public, especially Republicans, have seen the undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood as a rogue baby “chop-shop” for organ harvesting. The public also understands that radical Islam poses an existential threat to much of the Western world.

Carson, it is important to note, did not say that Muslims should be legally barred from the White House. He simply said that he wouldn’t support a Muslim candidate, at this time, for President. It is a distinction with a very big difference.

It is almost a cliche to say that the mainstream media has lost its monopoly power to dictate which news items are important. In recent years, there are numerous examples of the public ignoring issues trumpeted by the media. A recent Gallup survey, in fact, found that public trust in the media has reached an historic low.

It is commonly accepted that candidates can do well in the polls in spite of media attacks. The media has reached such a low point, however, that candidates can do well because of the media attacks.


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