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Ben Carson is controversial, and that’s just the way voters like it




DES MOINES, IA - AUGUST 16:  Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson looks on during church services at Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church  on August 16, 2015 in Des Moines , Iowa. Ben Carson attended Sunday church services before campaigning at the Iowa State Fair.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - AUGUST 16: Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson looks on during church services at Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church on August 16, 2015 in Des Moines , Iowa. Ben Carson attended Sunday church services before campaigning at the Iowa State Fair. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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A joint poll from CBS News and The New York Times shows Dr. Ben Carson now leading the Republican field of presidential hopefuls. 

The numbers come on the heels of a Quinnipiac poll last week, showing Carson pulling ahead of former front-runner Donald Trump in Iowa. 

Support for Carson has quadrupled since August. In addition, he's gained ground across several Republican groups, including women and evangelicals. 

To what does Ben Carson owe his newfound popularity?

Washington Post economics reporter Jim Tankersley says part of the appeal is Carson's political outsider status. The most important draw for voters, however, may be his strong conservative stances on several issues important to the GOP. For example, Obamacare. 

At a voter summit in 2013, Carson compared the Affordable Care Act to slavery. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVvz7o6CDls

Tankersly says that, while many looked askance at the proclamation, others saw a man who was unafraid to speak his mind. 

"These are statements that resonate well with the Republican base," Tankersly said. "The gun statement, the statement about the Affordable Care Act, they make people more likely to vote for him among Republican primary voters." 

Though Carson is polling well with registered Republican voters, Tankersly contends that Carson's statements could come back to haunt him if he went on to become the party's presidential nominee. 

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