Election 2016: 25 Things You Need to Know About Ben Carson

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Carson’s transition from renowned neurosurgeon to frequent Fox News contributor to serious presidential candidate has been one of the most surprising turns of the 2016 presidential election.

While Carson has slipped recently in the polls — dropping to fourth place after a brief stint in first — he should not be discounted by his opponents. Much like Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, Carson has consistently outperformed his rivals when it comes to garnering grassroots support. And with over half a year left in the primaries, Carson has plenty of time to shake things up.

InsideGov combed through Carson’s history and found 25 facts that you might not know about the retired neurosurgeon. Because we love numbers, every fact is represented numerically. We’ll start with the smallest figures and work our way to the biggest.

0 Years

Number of years of elective office experience Carson has held. If Carson wins the election, he’ll be the first president in U.S. history without any prior political positions held.

3 Days

Number of days Carson was in first place in the national polls (from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6). Although Carson’s reign as the top-polling candidate was short-lived, he remained in second place throughout November and into December.

3 Resignations

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The Carson campaign had a major staff shakeup at the end of December, with three key advisors resigning.

Carson’s campaign manager Barry Bennett, deputy campaign manager Lisa Coen and communications director Doug Watts all resigned. Carson explained the changes as means of reinvigorating his campaign.

5 Feet, 11 Inches

Ben Carson’s height puts him on par with fellow GOP candidates Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Chris Christie and former Gov. Mike Huckabee.

6 Books

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Ben Carson has written six bestselling books.

9 Percent Average

Ben Carson has averaged 9 percent in the polls thus far, falling 16 percentage points since taking first place in early November. Currently, he is in fourth place.

14.9 Percent

Carson’s proposed overhaul of the tax system hinges on a 14.9 percent flat tax for people in all income brackets. That would be a major decrease from the current top personal tax rate of 39.6 percent.

22 Hours

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Time it took for Carson and his medical team to perform the first successful separation of siamese twins in 1987.

24.8 Percent

The highest Carson has been in the national polls based on the RealClearPolitics polling average. After peaking in early November, Carson has since dropped in the polls.

33 Years Old

The age at which Carson became director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Carson was the youngest person to head a major division in the hospital’s history.

35 Weeks

To date, the number of weeks since Carson launched his presidential campaign on May 3rd, 2015. Carson was among the first Republicans to announce his candidacy.

46 Minutes, 53 Seconds

Carson has had nearly 47 minutes of total speaking time over the first five GOP debates. When it comes to speaking time, Carson ranks sixth among the Republican candidates.

63 Percent

Running as a political outsider, Carson has relied on grassroots support from everyday voters.

The fact that 63 percent of his campaign contributions have come from small donations (less than $200) is a sign of his grassroots appeal. Only Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have higher percentages of small contributions.

64 Years Old

Carson is the second-oldest Republican candidate. Trump, at 69 years old, is the oldest.

86 Rating

In 2009, a TV movie adaptation of Carson’s bestselling book, "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story," was released. The movie, which starred Cuba Gooding Jr. as Dr. Ben Carson, received four primetime Emmy nominations and helped make Carson a household name. The film received a score of 86 on Rotten Tomatoes.

97.9 Percent

The percent of campaign contributions that have come from outside of Carson’s home state of Maryland. Carson has the highest number of out-of-state contributions among all of the presidential candidates.


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The year in which Carson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Bush recognized Dr. Carson for his achievements in neurosurgery and his efforts to motivate underprivileged youth in America.

2,304 Tweets

The number of tweets sent from Carson’s official Twitter account. Compared to the other candidates, Carson is underperforming when it comes to tweeting; only Jim Gilmore has sent fewer tweets.

6,700 Scholarships

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Founded in 1994 by Ben Carson and his wife, Candy, the Carson Scholars Fund has awarded more than 6,700 scholarships across the country, each worth $1,000.


The daily average raised by Carson’s official campaign committee as of this writing. Carson’s high daily average, which is the greatest among the Republican candidates, is another sign of his campaign’s strong grassroots support.

362,813 Copies

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The number of copies sold of Carson’s most-recent book, "One Nation: All We Can do to Save America’s Future." Carson’s book has sold more copies than any other 2016 presidential candidate, beating out Hillary Clinton’s "Hard Choices."

1.08 Million Followers

Although he might not tweet much, Carson has the second-highest number of followers on Twitter among the GOP candidates.

$10 Million

Dr. Carson’s net worth, according to the latest data from CelebrityNetWorth. Carson, who grew up in a poor neighborhood in Detroit, is now among the wealthiest Republican candidates.

18,479,257 Members

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The number of members in the Seventh-Day Adventist World Church, the religion Carson follows. Carson’s strong faith has been an important part of his campaign.

$35.4 Million

Carson’s campaign, including affiliated super PACs and committees, has raised a total of $35.4 million. That’s the sixth most of all the 2016 presidential candidates.

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