A slew of new polls show retired doctor Ben Carson definitively knocking Donald Trump from his number one spot atop the Republican presidential nominating contest in Iowa – and the billionaire real estate mogul is puzzled as to why that’s the case.“I don’t get it,” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday morning. “I’m going there [to Iowa] actually today and I have tremendous crowds and I have tremendous love in the room, and you know, we seem to have hit a chord. But some of these polls coming out, I don’t quite get it.”
To make matters worse for Trump, a new CBS News/New York Times survey of GOP primary voters showed that for the first time, Carson has also surpassed him nationally, with 26% support in the poll compared to Trump’s 22%. While that’s within the margin of error, it still shows that Carson is closing in on the former reality television star. The poll also puts Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in third place with 8%, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and ex- Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who were tied with 7% each.
RELATED: Latest polling points at a new GOP front-runner
With Carson surpassing Trump, the contours of the Republican primary battle may now begin to resemble the 2012 contest, when a series of long-shot candidates led the polls through much of 2011. Whether Carson will have more staying power is an open question.
Trump argued on “Morning Joe” that the recent polls – which he usually points to repeatedly on the campaign trail when he’s ahead – weren’t necessarily scientific.
“I believe in polls, I generally believe in polls. The thing with these polls – they’re all so different, they’re coming from all over the lot where one guy’s up here and somebody else is up there or you see swings of 10 and 12 points and you know, like, immediately, the same day,” Trump said. “So right now, it’s not very scientific. I think it’s very hard when you have this many.” He later added, however, that “ I think they say something – at least they spot a trend.”
Trump continued to attack Carson on a number of issues, including his flip-flop last week on Medicare and what Trump characterized as a “pro-abortion” past. Trump insisted “a lot of things will come out” about his rival and that “one thing I know about a front-runner: you get analyzed 15 different ways from China.”