In case you missed it in First Read this morning, the Washington Times announced that Dr. Ben Carson is releasing an hour-long television ad set to air this weekend, officially kicking off the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Powered by strong grassroots support, Carson has had an impressive year, quickly climbing from obscurity to top-tier Republican candidate. In July, he easily won the CPAC straw poll, topping Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Scott Walker and other conservative favorites.
And even more noteworthy, the most recent poll of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa shows Dr. Carson checks in second place, trailing only Mitt Romney (who insists he won’t run again). In that poll, Carson’s favorablity sits at an impressive 41/8 with room to grow as his name recognition increases. Compare that to Chris Christie, for example, who is under water at 35/41.
2016 is upon us, and Ben Carson is first out of the gate.