Julie Pace | Carson enters tonight’s GOP debate with momentum

Julie Pace, AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican candidates for president will gather Wednesday for their third debate amid fresh volatility in an already chaotic race, with Ben Carson surging past Donald Trump in Iowa and one-time front-runner Jeb Bush under pressure to prove he’s still a viable candidate for the GOP nomination.

The soft-spoken Carson has been a low-key presence in the first two GOP debates, but the retired neurosurgeon is likely to get more attention from moderators — as well as his fellow candidates — after a series of preference polls show him atop the field in Iowa.

Trump has already shown he’s eager to take on Carson, jabbing him for his speaking style and raising questions about his Seventh Day Adventist faith.

“We’ll see how Ben holds up to the scrutiny,” Trump said Tuesday on MSNBC.

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