Trump Facing Challenge From Ben Carson

Who Are Donald Trump’s Voters? The Less Engaged and Less Informed
Some cracks are beginning to appear in The Donald’s armor as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination.

The latest Monmouth University poll shows billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump is now in a statistical tie in Iowa with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, whose support is surging. Each has the backing of 23 percent of likely Iowa GOP caucus goers. It’s the first time in six weeks that Trump hasn’t been the clear leader in a major poll in Iowa, the first state to hold a nominating event in 2016, CNN reports.

Both Trump and Carson are non-politicians who promise to shake up Washington. Former business executive Carly Fiorina, still another Washington outsider, has moved up into third place with 10 percent. The combined support in Iowa for these three outsider candidates – Trump, Carson and Fiorina – is 56 percent, but Carson and Fiorina are far less blustery and less inclined to lob one-liners and insults than Trump.

A Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll released Saturday found Trump with 23 percent and Carson with 18.

In another sign of trouble for Trump, conservative leaders are beginning to attack him more aggressively for not being a true candidate of the right, partly because he is advocating tax increases and a more assertive role for the federal government. GOP orthodoxy, as defined by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, is to cut taxes and fight the growth of government.

Trump is calling for higher taxes on corporations if he determines that they are acting against the national interest, and he has threatened to increase taxes on hedge fund managers’ compensation. Trump also has advocated tariffs on U.S. companies that locate their factories outside the United States.

“All of those are anti-growth policies,” David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, an anti-tax research organization, told The New York Times. “Yes, he’s a businessman, but if those are the policies he implements, they’ll drive the economy into the ground and we’ll see huge drops in G.D.P., and frankly I think it would lead to massive loss of jobs.”

Michael Strain, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, criticized Trump’s support for entitlement spending and imposing trade tariffs and Trump’s threat to raise taxes on hedge fund managers. “Those aren’t the types of things a typical Republican candidate would say,” Strain told the Times. “A lot of these things are not things that businesses would be happy about.”


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