Bloomberg's Mark Halperin said a recent focus group he conducted with undecided Republican primary voters in New Hampshire and Iowa where Ben Carson received a tremendous amount of support and praise was enlightening for him and he now understands the presidential candidate's appeal to the electorate.
Halperin appeared on Thursday's edition of Morning Joe to discuss the focus groups he and his Bloomberg Politics colleague John Heilemann held with Republican and Democratic primary voters in the first in the nation states.
Morning Joe contributor Mika Brzezinski was shocked and left nearly speechless by the response of the focus group making her realize the show has had a "blind spot" to Ben Carson.
"Well, we've got a lot to learn," Brzezinski said.
"We didn't cherry pick just the positive stuff," Halperin said about the adoration for Carson in the focus group. "Iowa and New Hampshire, undecided Republicans, you saw there, the gap between what they say about Ben Carson and what people in New York and Washington think is massive."
"The fact that they, the Iowa group, everyone in the Iowa group liked what he said on Meet The Press to Chuck [Todd] about a Muslim being president and 7 of the 11 people, in New Hampshire, a more secular state."
"We've talked a lot here about not understanding Ben Carson's appeal. I understand it after those two focus groups than I ever had," Halperin said.
"This is where I think -- whether it's willful or subconscious -- I feel like we've had a blind spot," Brzezinski said about Carson. "We don't have it about Donald Trump because we know him and sort of know his talents, but we've had a complete blind spot about Ben Carson.