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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dr. Ben Carson has no respect for New England.

The retired neurosurgeon running for president released a map of the United States Tuesday evening to show his support for “the majority of our nation’s governors in saying no to Syrian refugees.”

The map, which highlights in red the states whose governors took such a stance, unfortunately bears the mark of a clumsy or geographically challenged graphic designer, and apparently poor oversight on the part of Carson’s organization: Dr. Carson’s America fuses Vermont and Connecticut together, and moves Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire several hundred miles to the northeast, deep into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and into the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec. He also inaccurately labeled part of Virginia as Maryland.

In theory, this could damage Carson’s image, but the map is pretty consistent with the good doctor’s history of gaffes and blunders on subjects such as history, geopolitics, and the U.S. Constitution. In other words, Carson has been in danger of losing all respect for months now, and it’s unlikely to see the map changing anyone’s mind. Ever since he entered the race, his detractors have been wondering how a man who was named the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University at the age of 33 could be so colossally stupid.

Between trying to defend his supposed violent behavior as a youth, his belief that the ancient pyramids in Egypt were built for grain storage, his remarks on how he would have handled the gunman at the Oregon community college shooting (and that’s just the start), Carson may have exhausted his credibility — among those voters who care about credibility.

But Dr. Carson, whose base largely consists of evangelicals, is polling second to Donald Trump, and wouldn’t seem to have much use for New England anyway, it being the least religious area of the country.

Carson’s numbers have fallen to 11 percent among likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters from 17 percent in September, according to a poll by WBUR, while Donald Trump’s lead at 22 percent has held steady.

The map was posted on Carson’s Facebook and Instagram pages last night, but after criticism, was replaced by an accurate representation of the United States.

This U.S. map howler comes just one day after a devastating report in the New York Times that Carson cannot seem to get a grasp on foreign policy, despite his campaign’s most earnest efforts to “make him smart.” The homeland isn’t much easier, apparently.

Illustration: Is this the work of a five-year-old or just a geographically-challenged campaign? Images via Wikicommons/Ben Carson Facebook page.

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