Why the Heck Is Ben Carson Campaigning in Staten Island?

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tabor-roeder/22697784487/in/photolist-AzJ5xR-BtAuBT-uJH9Ac-uJxwrC-vp73Yn-vDfwWJ-vDfphL-vDfsvQ-vDfqLC-vDfsmm-vFxRce-uJxxoY-uJH9tD-uJxNXJ-zifWn3-xBUaGm-C7jUoh-qtuZpJ-qb2X8D-qCCmya-oaPSZz-o71jPh-paCfbP-o8Vgbm-ob6Tfb-oaSYmt-uJxNj9-vFxYCM-vEZAcW-vFWjFp-voYTUW-voYQ2y-vp7b5r-uJHkSk-voYJH9-voYCw9-uJxzgA-uJxzR3-pGkHLa-o5WLxt-o5WGoN-oiMCQw-otFWjs-pTETYi-orFCmu-otHw66-orFBjQ-owK4Tv-pf6ShJ-q1RTzP">Phil Roeder</a>/Flickr

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The New York Republican presidential primary is in 106 days, on April 19. It is the 37th nominating contest, coming more than three months after the first votes are cast in Iowa on February 1. So naturally Ben Carson is campaigning there on Monday night.

This is kind of strange. Carson’s campaign is a mess right now. When three of his top aides quit before the New Year, Armstrong Williams, Carson’s top advisor, found out about it on Twitter. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, once was at the top of the polls, but his numbers have plummeted in Iowa and elsewhere. Still, he insists he’s plowing ahead and remains a contender. If so, what’s he doing in Staten Island, while the other candidates rightly focus on Iowa and New Hampshire in the pre-voting homestretch? Some possibilities:

  • The ferry offers a great view of the harbor at a low price.
  • Carson wants to run for mayor of New York and is learning from Harold Ford’s mistake.
  • Fresh Kills is a cool name for one of the world’s largest garbage dumps.
  • Great pizza.
  • ???

There’s no real explanation for this stop. (Has Carson sold every book he can possibly sell in Iowa?) It’s the latest sign his campaign—though it collected $23 million in the most recent quarter—cannot be considered a serious effort.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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