Politicians have “manipulated” African-American voters, according to Ben Carson, the only major-party presidential candidate who is black.

“American blacks over the course of this next year will begin to see that they’ve been manipulated very, very largely; and people telling them what they’re supposed to think and what they’re supposed to say,” he said on Mike Gallagher’s radio program.

Newsmax explained that the former chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University was answering a question about a recent poll by YouGov. Seventy-four percent of African-Americans who responded to the survey were critical of Carson’s recent declaration that no Muslim should become president of the United States. The candidate has come under fire from members of his own party, as well as Democrats, for the statement.

Carson told Gallagher: “More and more, I’m finding, (that black voters) are thinking for themselves, and are recognizing what really works for them and for their communities. And so, I believe that’s a dynamic that’s in the process in changing.”

The doctor’s comments about Muslims do not appear to be harming his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. According to recent national polls, he and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina have narrowed Donald Trump’s lead in the race.

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