It’s nearly time. After months of campaigning and debating, the first primary contests of the 2016 election season are about to begin. On Feb. 1 Iowans will go to the caucuses, and on Feb. 9 New Hampshire will host the first primary vote. Less than two weeks after that, South Carolinians go to the polls.
The success of Ben Carson has baffled the political establishment (and me) since he began his rise in the polls. I certainly thought after each of three low-knowledge, low-energy debate performances that the good doctor would fade. Yet he has only risen, and even pipped Donald Trump, the longtime frontrunner, in recent polls.
While the Democrats have been running a fairly ordered campaign season (thanks in no small measure an unstoppable frontrunner scaring most challengers off), the Republican race has gone off the rails. It is clear that the Republican National Committee and party grandees no longer have control of their party or their nominating process.