Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson has been on a rollercoaster of a campaign. Just a few weeks ago, the retired neurosurgeon was at the top of his game, nearly surpassing Donald Trump in the polls and earning the support of many Grand Old Party (GOP) voters. But days before the holidays, Carson appeared to place the blame for his quick decline on his campaign staff.
On 23 December, Carson spoke to the Washington Post to claim that his drop in the polls was squarely the fault of his campaign. In an interview in his Maryland home, Carson said he planed a campaign staff shake-up in the coming days. "I'm looking at every aspect of the campaign right now. Everything is on the table, every job is on the table. And we're going to analyse it very carefully," he said.
He added: "I want to see more efficiency in terms of the way money is utilised." While he refused to say what changes would be made, he said they would definitely come before the Iowa caucuses on 1 February. Despite his claims of a staff shake-up, Carson later stepped back from his comments, saying his senior advisors would keep their jobs "with my full confidence".
Fast forward to just before the New Year, and Carson's campaign continues to be in chaos. MSNBC noted that his campaign has been "hemorrhaging cash". It appears that Carson was hardly prepared for a presidential campaign and everything it entailed, despite what he claimed during his interviews. "[G]oing through a process like this is pretty brutal. Everybody told me that it would be, so that doesn't particularly surprise me."
The latest CNN/ORC poll reveals Carson has dropped from second place to fourth, behind frontrunner Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. His decline is more evident with every poll released. A 10 December CBS/NY Times poll showed him in third place, behind Trump and Cruz. Just a few days earlier, he was hot on Trump's tail in an IBD/TIPP poll. Only time will tell where he'll be as the election draws closer to the primaries.