The Lid: Bad News for Ben Carson in Iowa

Image: Ben Carson
Republican presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson holds a news conference after a rally, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, in Pahrump, Nev. Carson attended a briefing on Yucca Mountain and federal lands at the Nye County commissioner's office in Pahrump before holding the rally. (AP Photo/John Locher)John Locher / AP

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By Andrew Rafferty and Carrie Dann

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… It’s that time of the year when pundits write their “How to Win an Argument at Thanksgiving Dinner” pieces! Which is perfect because people are at their most persuadable when they have access to nearly unlimited supplies of food and alcohol beginning in the early afternoon. It’s science.

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This morning’s big surge for Ted Cruz in the latest Iowa Quinnipiac poll got a lot of attention -- but we also took notice of Ben Carson’s big slide. The former neurosurgeon dropped from 28 percent to 18 percent support in just four weeks in the Q-poll. A snapshot of polling trends shows that it’s possible that Carson has peaked nationally, too (Inserting caveat about his still sky-high upside potential with GOP primary voters).

Here’s a set of numbers from the Q-poll that really stuck out to us: The highest share of Iowa Republican voters (30 percent) said that they thought Trump would be the best candidate to handle terrorism, while Cruz won out (at 24 percent) when participants were asked which candidate was best suited to deal with foreign policy overall. Carson’s numbers on the same two questions? Not even close -- in the low single digits on both measures. Even though the economy remains a top issue for most voters in Iowa and nationally, the commander-in-chief test is definitely getting applied, post-Paris. That’s likely spelling trouble for the one-time co-frontrunner.


  • Don’t miss this report from NBC’s Mark Murray and Leigh Ann Caldwell on how campaign watchdogs are raising flags on an outside group promoting Marco Rubio.
  • Charles and David Koch are impressed with Carly Fiorina and a Koch-backed group will feature her at an upcoming high-profile policy event, NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.
  • In a Facebook Q&A on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton said it was a “poor choice of words” to refer to undocumented immigrants as “illegal,” NBC’s Monica Alba reports.
  • Candidates like Bernie Sanders officially weathered challenges to ballot filings in New Hampshire, NBC’s Kailani Koenig writes.
  • A new poll of Iowa caucus-goers shows Ted Cruz surging into a statistical tie with Donald Trump at the top of the GOP pack, while Ben Carson has dropped 10 points since last month.
  • And First Read has more on the Ted Cruz surge in the Hawkeye State.

Programming note: The Lid will be off for the rest of the week so that we can spend more time overeating and easily winning arguments with our families. Happy Thanksgiving!


“Hey, Bill, what, am I gonna check every statistic?”

  • Donald Trump, asked by Bill O’Reilly about his retweet of false crime data


Marco Rubio holds a meet and greet in Mt. Pleasant, SC

President Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey.