Sure, the Carson campaign was back in the news today, after national finance chairman Dean Parker resigned after being criticized for mismanagement and overspending—including paying himself $20,000 a month. But after rising steadily in the polls throughout October—he topped Donald Trump only once in RCP’s aggregate poll, on the same day Politico published a controversial piece that claimed Carson had claimed to have received a scholarship to West Point despite having never applied—Carson has fallen off a cliff. After the primary race shifted from domestic to foreign policy—an area where Carson is clearly lost—in the wake of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, he’s faded to the background. Ted Cruz has taken his anti-establishment second banana role; his national polling has fallen off a cliff.
Carson will be in a difficult position tonight. He needs to do something, especially with all of the turmoil in his camp, to jumpstart his campaign, or he risks fading into irrelevance—while his social policy credentials may help him in Iowa, he’s currently getting clobbered in New Hampshire by Jeb! and Kasich (!). But Carson is a terrible debater—he often disappears for huge chunks of time and even when speaking he tends to more harm than good by speaking word salad instead of sense.
Carson has promised that he’ll be “less polite” tonight. But then again he promised his foreign policy answers in the last debate would be a “slam dunk.”