Ben Carson finished dead last in South Carolina last night, as the polls predicted that he would. He did not finish last due to lack of effort, or because he was focusing on some other state where he had a better chance. By Carson's own admission, South Carolina was a state where he should have done well, and where the large evangelical population should have given him a decent chance to post a good showing.
Instead, he finished behind John Kasich, a guy who spent significant portions of the last week campaigning in far flung places like Michigan. He finished well behind another candidate (Jeb Bush) who desperately needed to do well in South Carolina, and who quit the race after failing to do so.
After being spanked by the voters of South Carolina, Ben Carson took the stage and excused his loss by saying that it was entirely possible that Donald Trump would get all the delegates from South Carolina, so really he did just as well as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Therefore, he was no bigger a loser than any of the rest of them, and he would continue to press on.
While Carson's point about delegate allocation may or may not turn out to be true, his point about the viability of his campaign, in light of the message sent by South Carolina voters, is not. No person in Carson's position who is even of average intelligence would conclude that the South Carolina results mean that he has as good a chance going forward as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. And Ben Carson is a person of above average intelligence, as his supporters repeatedly claim.
Ben Carson has no chance at all to actually win the nomination, and that is painfully clear. He has had no top-3 finishes. His polling is on a downward trajectory. He is not moving ahead to any states that will be friendlier territory than South Carolina, where he just finished dead last.
The fact that he continues to stay in despite having literally zero chance of winning or even having a decent bargaining position in the farflung event of a brokered convention verifies what I have been saying about Carson's campaign for months - that he is building a fundraising/email list to sell to the highest bidder, and also trying to help his own book sales.
Nothing more, nothing less. His borderline unethical fundraising practices have already been well documented and his willingness to continue to bilk his (largely elderly) fundraising base out of their meager savings for his failed Presidential campaign in order to advance his own personal profile is flatly despicable.
I've gotten a lot of angry emails from Carson supporters over the last few months for calling Carson's campaign a scam, but I defy any of those people now to say that Ben Carson actually believes that he can win the nomination, or that he isn't in this for the exclusive purpose of raising his own personal profile, after what happened in South Carolina.
If you can do it, then there's a pretty good chance that Ben Carson will be around to ask you for money soon.