Ben Carson is a retired neurosurgeon and gained political popularity after delivering a widely publicized speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast.
USC student Nick Pasternak is on the Executive Board for USC College Republicans and is in charge of organizational outreach on campus
Bob Oldendick is working on the fifth edition of a textbook that discusses public opinion on social issues.
By: Abbey O'Brien
November 2 was voting day in South Carolina for many municipal elections, but it also marked one year until the 2016 presidential vote. The presidential race is changing gears as Ben Carson has officially topped Donald Trump as the frontrunner of the GOP race.
A new national poll from NBC/Wall Street Journal shows Carson is favored by 29 percent while Trump is at 23%. Trump and Carson have been popular with voters from the beginning because they are different than the typical politicians.
"I think people are using these outsiders as an outlet for their frustrations with Washington," said Nick Pasternak, member of the USC College Republicans organization.
"The kind of statements Trump has been making like 'Make America Great Again' have shown that he is trying to take on the more established candidates in the Republican Party. And it's resonating with people," said Oldendick.
Yesterday's South Carolina election included the vote for West Columbia Mayor and the Council Member for the At-Large seat, but the polls were very quiet.
But Oldendick and Pasternak believe that every vote counts because South Carolinians will have a large effect on the presidential election.
"In the past its been proven, I think from 1992 to 2008 South Carolina picked the nominee. South Carolina is also the largest of the first three primary states so it plays a huge roll," said Pasternak.
South Carolina will choose its nominee in the presidential primary election in February. Stay up to date on all election results and voting dates at http://www.scvotes.org/.