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Opinion
Albert R. Hunt

Ted Cruz Has a Ben Carson Problem

It's easy to attack Donald Trump. What about a smiling neurosurgeon?
Uh-oh.

Uh-oh.

Photographer: Max Whittaker pool via Bloomberg
Updated on

Ted Cruz's carefully crafted plan to become the right-wing standard-bearer in the Republican presidential race is pretty much on schedule. His campaign has more cash than any rival's, is backed by a well-heeled super PAC and is gaining in the polls. The Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll has him in third place in Iowa, where caucuses on Feb. 1 will give voters their first chance to cast ballots.

For the Texas Senator then, it's so far, so good. But now Cruz has a new problem: the neurosurgeon and political novice Ben Carson. The big news of the Bloomberg/Des Moines Register survey is that Carson has surged into the lead, favored by 28 percent of Iowa Republicans who said they're likely to attend a caucus. Next comes Donald Trump with 19 percent. Cruz is third with 10 percent.