| Michael Vadon

Ben Carson tops polls, without skipping his book tour

Ben Carson’s unique campaign style has him topping polls in Iowa, even though the retired neurosurgeon is taking a break from the stump to push his new book.

Ryan Rhodes, Carson’s Iowa State director, said the tour for Carson’s book, A More Perfect Union, isn’t time off from the campaign. Rather, it is time spent differently.

“That may not explicitly look like campaigning to somebody,” Rhodes told AMI Newswire Thursday. “But his entire message is about getting involved, thinking bigger and starting to return to where we have a better knowledge of our nation and what we need to do education-wise – and I think the book is in charge of that.”

Carson’s celebrity and numbers have been ballooning. In Iowa, a Monmouth University poll shows Carson in first place, with 28 percent. The candidate with the next highest support is Donald Trump, with 19 percent.

Carson’s campaign is unlike anything else coming from the Republican Party right now. The former head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins has found his edge, said Rhodes.

“When you have somebody like Dr. Carson, you really have to know your candidate,” Rhodes said. “And if you attempt to make your candidate somebody he’s not, then you’re going to fail.”

Rhodes said he knew from day one the Carson campaign was going to be different, that Carson wouldn’t be happy doing the “same old campaign.”

“I’m not a politician; I’m never going to be a politician, so why would I use their playbook?” Carson told MSNBC, at a stop to promote his book.

This whole campaign is about being different, Rhodes said. Instead of the usual campaign stops, Carson visits hospitals. Instead of speaking only to the media, Carson spends time every night answering questions from voters on Facebook.

“It’s important, because Ben wants to get directly to the voter. He doesn’t want to have to weed through a bunch of noise where what he’s saying is being distorted left and right. It gives him the opportunity to go to the people,” Rhodes said.

The Iowa caucuses are set for Feb. 1, 2016.