How Did Former Neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson Establish Himself as a Serious Threat for Republican Nomination?

( [email protected] ) Sep 10, 2015 12:13 PM EDT
Yahoo political columnist Matt Bai argues that Dr. Ben Carson's personal narrative has endeared him to the American public, establishing him as a serious threat for the Republican nomination.
A new CNN poll finds former neurosurgeon Ben Carson rising 10 points to land in second place with 19%. Facebook/ Ben Carson

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has surged to the top of the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, and comes just behind frontrunner Donald Trump in other primary states.

Dr. Carson grew up in poverty in Detroit and eventually found a successful career as a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins. Although he has never held elective office,  Dr. Carson became an overnight hero among conservatives after he spoke at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington and denounced the health care law and liberal government while standing just a few feet from President Obama.

The 63-year-old has also said his faith is the most important part of his life: "By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life and that's a very big part of who I am," he said before his rally in Anaheim, California in September.

How did this former neurosurgeon and outspoken Christian, who exudes confidence but "barely speaks above a whisper" emerge as one of the top GOP contenders?

Yahoo political columnist Matt Bai argues that what makes Dr. Carson compelling to U.S. citizens is the power of his personal narrative; his story of enduring opportunity and equality, and will over circumstance and prejudice.

Read it at Yahoo Politics