Former neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has overtaken Donald Trump in a nationwide poll published Oct. 27.
The New York Times/CBS News National poll showed Carson with 26 percent support amongst Republican primary voters and Trump close behind with 22 percent, CNN reported.
“I don’t get it,” Trump said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Oct. 27. “I’m going there [to Iowa] actually today and I have tremendous crowds and I have tremendous love in the room and you know, we seem to have hit a chord. But some of these polls coming out, I don’t quite get it.”
Carson’s rise comes in the wake of several comments which have caused controversy recently.
“You know Ben wants to knock out Medicare," Trump added. "I heard that over the weekend, he wants to abolish Medicare. And I think you know, abolishing Medicare. I don’t think you’re going to get away with that one. And it’s actually a program that’s worked."
In an online question and answer session over the weekend, Carson rejected his reported desire to eliminate the healthcare program for retirees.
“The answer is of course no. I am interested in how we can both save money and deliver better service to our nation’s seniors,” Carson wrote.
Carson also compared abortion to slavery in an Oct. 25 interview.
“Think about this. During slavery — and I know that’s one of those words you’re not supposed to say, but I’m saying it — during slavery, a lot of the slave owners thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave. Anything that they chose to do,” Carson said on NBC's "Meet The Press" on Oct. 26.
“I would never tell a woman who has been raped she’s got to carry the child of the rapist,” Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, another Republican contender, said Oct. 26 on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" in response to Carson's comments.
“Eighty-three percent of the American people feel like that goes too far, so if you would veto a bill that had an exception for rape or incest – you know, I appreciate your passion for the pro-life issue, but you’re outside of the mainstream and you cannot get elected," Graham added. "Anybody with that position will get creamed.”
Trump is still optimistic about his chances.
“I’ve done really well with the evangelicals and with the tea party and everything and I just don’t understand the number, but I accept the number,” the billionaire real estate mogul told CNN on Oct. 23. “It means I have to work a little bit harder in Iowa.”