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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ben Carson, a retired surgeon popular with Tea Party conservatives, has said he will decide by May 1 whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, according to a media report. In an interview with NewsMaxTV last week, Carson said he is still studying various political issues as he weighs a potential run for the White House. "You have to know a lot of stuff," he told NewsMaxTV on Friday. "I'm rapidly acquiring that knowledge, listening to people and really finding a tremendous amount of frustration with the status quo, politics as usual, be it Republican or Democrat. "I'm thinking very seriously, listening to people and will make a decision in a few months." In a November poll, 8 percent of conservatives said they would vote for Carson. By comparison, 19 percent of Republican voters surveyed by Quinnipiac University said they would choose former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the party's unsuccessful nominee in 2012. Carson, a former neurosurgeon at Maryland-based Johns Hopkins University, has no prior political experience. He is a conservative commentator and author of "One Nation," which topped the New York Times bestseller list in June. (Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott and Jeffrey Benkoe)