WASHINGTON, May 27, 2015 — Can Dr. Ben Carson‘s SRLC straw poll victory in Oklahoma lead to a GOP presidential nomination? That question must be on the minds of many Carson supporters. According to Breitbart, Carson pulled off a stunning victory in Oklahoma City when he swept the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) straw poll.
Just a few months ago, pundits on both sides of the political aisle assumed that the newcomer to presidential politics would be a minor player in the GOP nomination sweepstakes. Not any longer.
Carson outdistanced Sen. Ted Cruz, who many conservatives still consider a formable Tea Party presidential candidate, with 24.4 percent of the vote to Cruz’s 16.6 percent. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came in second with 20.5 percent of the vote.
For many, this type of win may seem just a blip in what will be a nearly year-long campaign slugfest. Yet the Carson victory may actually showcase an underlying feeling of distrust that many conservatives have of all things that smack of Washington.
A case in point is the latest Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday. It has retired neurosurgeon Carson tied at 10 percent along with Walker, and former governors Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Jeb Bush of Florida, according to CNN. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the only Washington insider, rounded out the top five who received 10 percent in the national poll.
This is especially interesting for Carson, since by comparison he had only received 3 percent in national polls when he officially announced his candidacy for president in early May.
Carson, always the humble but resolute supporter of America’s patriotic ideals, thanked his supporters and offered kudos to his fellow republican candidates. “I was absolutely thrilled also to hear many of the views of my fellow GOP candidates who are also running for president. We are blessed with an extraordinarily group of competent, intelligent and capable candidates, that love this nation and very much wish to see it succeed.”
As the republican field becomes even more crowded with the entry of former New York Governor George Pataki and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Carson will have an inside track to the presidential nomination if his polling numbers hold steady.
Of course the make or break number is exactly 10. That is how many GOP candidates will be allowed into the Fox News and CNN presidential debates. If a republican candidate is not ranked in the top ten spots, only CNN is considering a second grouping of GOP candidates who have to meet at least a minimum threshold of 1 percent in national public polling.
As it stands now, CNN says the other five to make it into the top ten polling category are in descending order, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, real estate mogul Donald Trump, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and either Ohio Gov. John Kasich or businesswoman Carly Fiorina, who are tied at 2 percent each.