If you need a sign of the level of rot in the Ben Carson campaign, this is it:
ll five paid New Hampshire staffers at the pro-Ben Carson 2016 Committee super PAC quit their posts on Sunday to become volunteers for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, WMUR.com has learned.
Jerry Sickles of Keene, the spokesman for the staff, said he and the other four staffers recently came to the conclusion that Cruz is the conservative most able to win the GOP presidential nomination and the presidency. He also noted that Carson has spent very little time campaigning in New Hampshire, which became frustrating to him and the other staffers as they tried to build support in the state.
“We hold Dr. Carson in the highest regard,” Sickles said. “This is a man we revere, but we think it is important that our party nominate a conservative and get behind a single conservative who can win, and we strongly believe that candidate is Ted Cruz.”
Sickles said that joining him in leaving the 2016 Committee and endorsing Cruz are former state Rep. Tim Comerford of Fremont, Joel Lambert of Alton, Jaye Foster of Keene and Emily Lecuyer of Hampstead.
The disclosure comes 10 days after Carson’s campaign operation, which is separate from the 2016 Committee, lost campaign manager Barry Bennett and communications director Doug Watts.
I think there are several things at work here beyond mere political affinity that precipitated this decision.
Several senior staff quit the Carson campaign at Christmas citing disorganization and turmoil.
In short, very little is going to entice a paid operative to quit and take an volunteer position other than knowledge that they will be out of work soon, anyway.
As we’ve documented, the main purpose of Ben Carson’s fundraising operation is to raise funds. His focus on direct mail is more indicative of a man attempting to establish a long term relationship with customers and fans than a presidential candidate trying to raise money for field staff and advertising. I think the 4 Qtr fundraising report will not be kind to Carson and he could be out of the race before South Carolinians go to the polls. I suspect that the fundraising for his Super PAC is not faring much better.
This also throws the New Hampshire race into flux. News like this will have a definite adverse impact on Carson voters and if they still vote, they have to vote for someone. To the extent that Carson voters are conservatives at all, and not novelty voters, if some do flow to Cruz it will make the outcome a lot more interesting.