September 15, 2015:    On the eve of the second major Republican Party presidential debate, Dr. Ben Carson, the Adventist brain surgeon with no prior experience as an elected official, has moved near the leading candidate in new polls. A poll released yesterday found Carson tied with billionaire Donald Trump at 23 percent in Iowa, one of four states with early primary elections.

Conducted by Monmouth University, it was the first poll since July that did not show Trump ahead of all the other candidates, reported Cable News Network (CNN) on Monday evening (September 14). Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard, had 10 percent. All of the former and current senators and governors in the poll had only single digit support.

A national poll of Republican voters released Tuesday morning (September 14) puts Carson in a “statistical dead heat” with Trump. The CBS News/New York Times Survey found 27 percent of primary voters supporting Trump and 23 percent supporting Carson, but with a six percentage point margin of error. Trump’s share is essentially the same as the July poll by the same organization while Carson’s has jumped 17 percentage points.

“The results mark an enormous improvement in the poll for Carson, who wasn’t thought to be a serious candidate,” wrote Adam Edelman in today’s New York Daily News. The voters who are moving behind Carson are being pulled largely from those who supported former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Edelman stated.

Another poll from a few days ago put Carson at 14 percent and Trump at 28 percent, the New York Times yesterday. Again, all of the other candidates were in the single digits despite the fact that most of them are well-known public officials who have won elections previously.

Wednesday night (September 16) all of these candidates will participate in a debate on CNN which will likely be viewed by millions of Americans. This might be the occasion when the possibility that an Adventist will be elected President of the United States becomes a serious option, or it could be the end of Carson’s campaign if he makes a serious mistake. Trump has lashed out at other candidates, but has not been critical of Carson.

The only African American among the candidates, Carson has an inspirational background story that has been told in a television movie. He grew up in a single-parent family in a low-income urban community, won the opportunity to get an education at one of the top universities in America and became a famous brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The Adventist values taught to him by his mother played a key role in his success.