Why Do Iowa Voters Love Ben Carson?

Dr. Ben Carson returns to Iowa today, fresh off the announcement he has raised $20 million the last fundraising quarter. Carson finds himself on the verge of climbing to the top of Iowa polls, with Carson trailing Trump by 6% according to the RCP average.

Why is the Doctor from Detroit so popular in the Hawkeye state? Likely caucus voters say Carson is inspirational.

According to the Des Moine Register:

“One word emerges in almost every conversation with Iowans who like presidential candidate Ben Carson.

It’s the centerpiece of his campaign slogan — “Heal, inspire, revive” — for a reason, his aides say.

“We saw it in our first focus group. … And there’s not a week that goes by that we don’t see that underscored in many ways,” spokesman Doug Watts told The Des Moines Register. “It’s the watchword of the campaign.”

“It’s evident that if he runs into a hitch and doesn’t have all the information he needs, he’s not slow to ask God to give him the wisdom,” said Kim Hiscox, a West Des Moines Republican who has read Carson’s autobiography “Gifted Hands” and has seen the television movie about his life. “I haven’t seen him get rattled yet.”

The article notes Carson does particularly well with Conservative Christians and women.

“Who’s most inspired by Carson, the low-income Detroit kid who grew up to perform avant-garde brain surgeries on infants and children? Conservative Christians and conservative women are the core of his voter pool here, polling shows.

Carson beats Trump with Christian conservatives and also with women, the late August Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll found. Several women told the Register they view him as a role model for their children, no matter their kids’ age or income level.

“His story with his mom is amazing,” said Muscatine Christian conservative Lynn Pohren. “The fact that she was one of 24 kids and a single parent and she did what she did to get him through school.”

Carson’s father, Robert, worked in the car manufacturing industry in Detroit, and his mother, Sonya, was a maid. The couple split when Carson was 8. Although his mom didn’t know how to read, Carson says she forced her two sons to get through two library books a week. She drove home a message of independence, reciting the Mayme White Miller poem “Yourself to Blame,” he says. Carson’s brother, he tells Iowans, is now a rocket scientist.

David Stilley, the 59-year-old owner of a Johnston-based DoctorsNow walk-in clinic, thinks Carson is an inspiration to anyone who might feel like he or she is a victim of circumstances.

“Every American should aspire to the way he has lived his life,” said Stilley, who years ago watched Cuba Gooding Jr. play Carson in “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.”