Ben Carson’s Rise Fueled By Massive Direct Marketing Success

TIME

The subject line read, “Dr. Carson: Serious Trouble…” But the neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who now polls in the top tier of Republican contenders for the presidency, was certainly not the one with problems.

“The Republican Party is in serious trouble,” ran the words that followed under a oversized font reading “From The Desk Of Ben Carson.” “So please join me in supporting Black America’s PAC with a contribution of at least $20.16 today.”

If you want to understand the conservative appeal of the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, messages like this, which go out by the thousand on conservative email lists, are the place to start. No prospective candidate’s name and likeness, including the Democratic field-clearer Hillary Clinton, has been as successful in attracting small donations over the last year than that of Carson.

In addition to his own political action committee, Carson has lent his…

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