Republican U.S. Presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson takes a selfie with students in Detroit. Carson is doing well in recent nationwide polls. Yet why? (REUTERS/Rebecca Cook)

He has compared Obamacare come slavery, thrown about words prefer bestiality and also pedophilia if arguing versus same-sex marriage and also said our society resembles Nazi Germany.

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He"s basically the longest of lengthy shots to operation our nation in 2017, and also there are signs his nascent presidential campaign is struggling through this reality.

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So why is retirement pediatric neurosurgeon, politics novice and also presidential candidate Ben Carson close to the top of practically every current poll the the 2016 race?

The answer has actually less to perform with Carson"s ability as a candidate and an ext to perform with his background and fortunate timing. Carson has arguably the ideal non-political background in the field, and he"s to run for chairman in an choice in which there are so many candidates on the GOP side that it"s going to be incredibly challenging for one human being to command lot of a lead.

In contrast, roughly this time prior to the 2012 presidential elections, seven GOP candidates to be in the race. Eventual nominee Mitt Romney led the field with 17 percent that the vote, follow to the Real Clear national politics average. And even the was pretty low for a frontrunner.

At this point, any kind of candidate who has a small, committed group of pendant is going to was standing out. And also Carson definitely has street cred amongst tea party supporters.

He earn star power and also fueled presidential buzz in conservative circles ago in 2013, as soon as he criticized chairman Obama in ~ a nationwide Prayer Breakfast v the chairman sitting just a couple of feet again. Due to the fact that then he"s elevated self to celebrity status amongst conservatives.

There"s a large difference in between getting 10 percent of the vote and also competing come win claims -- a far taller hurdle for a politics novice prefer Carson. However being at 10 percent also method Carson will look prefer a contender until other candidates start actually rising from the chaos of a crowded ar that exists.

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But we shouldn"t suppose that 10 percent assistance to dry up, no matter exactly how badly his campaign struggles. After all, he got it v very small skill as a candidate, and the points that provide him a niche this day aren"t yes, really going away.

Ben Carson is a renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and Republican contender for the White house in 2016. Here’s his take it on Obamacare, homosexuality and more, in his own words. (Julie Percha/The Washington Post)