Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) is expected to visit the first in the primary state New Hampshire this month as part of his Faith in America Tour, as speculation continues to rise about a potential 2024 presidential bid.
Scott is expected to arrive in Manchester on Thursday, April 13, and visit with locals, pastors, and Republican leaders as part of his tour, which he kicked off in Charleston back in February.
“I look forward to being back in New Hampshire as part of my Faith in America Tour,” Scott said in an emailed statement. “Granite Staters know freedom requires a renewed commitment to our founding principles and faith in the American people.”
His stop in the Granite State feeds the speculation of a potential 2024 presidential bid, which would put him against the clear frontrunner, former President Donald Trump. As Breitbart News reported in March, New Hampshire serves as just one early primary state stop, as Scott is also expected to visit Iowa on April 12 — the day before his appearance in New Hampshire.
As Breitbart News reported:
The senator’s team has reportedly been sending invitations to the summit to both national and South Carolina GOP donors, which Allison points to as the most concrete evidence that he is likely to follow through with a campaign.
A person familiar with the event told the Associated Press that “high-level fundraisers and supporters” would be in attendance.
The Opportunity Matters Fund Action PAC has already put itself behind Scott in anticipation of his bid and has hired two political operatives in South Carolina — former SC Republican Party chairman Matt Moore as well as Gov. Henry McMaster’s 2022 campaign manager Mark Knoop. According to Moore, they will both “lead a team focused on sharing Sen. Scott’s opportunity agenda and inspirational vision throughout the state.”
Some lawmakers have spoken out on the prospect of Scott launching a presidential bid.
“Tim Scott is going to have a very appealing story and message,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who unsuccessfully challenged former President Donald Trump in 2016, said.
“But again, sometimes the environment determines whether that’s what people are looking for. And who knows where we’re going to be a year from now,” he added in a piece published by Politico this week.
According to that report:
While most of his fellow senators expect him to eventually jump in, Scott is keeping his plans close among a small circle of advisers. For now, his colleagues are hesitant to place him in a specific lane — even potential endorsers-in-waiting like Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz).
Regardless of the senator’s decision, poll after poll shows a tough, uphill battle for any Republican vying to challenge Trump. The most recent Morning Consult survey, for example, shows Trump with majority support and his closest potential challenger, Gov. Ron DeSantis, falling 29 points behind. Sen. Scott is also included in that survey but only garners one percent support. Fellow South Carolinian Nikki Haley, who formally jumped into the race this year, also struggles to garner support against Trump, coming in with four percent:
NEW: Tracking the 2024 GOP Primary:
Donald Trump: 55%
Ron DeSantis: 26%
Mike Pence: 7%
Nikki Haley: 4%
Liz Cheney: 2%
Greg Abbott: 1%
Mike Pompeo: 1%
Tim Scott: 1%
Kristi Noem: 0%
Glenn Youngkin: 0%
Vivek Ramaswamy: 0%
Someone Else: 1%
*Mar. 31-Apr. 2https://t.co/4CBfh5gVos pic.twitter.com/EdBtsfkS9X
— Morning Consult (@MorningConsult) April 3, 2023
That same survey also shows Scott potentially suffering from a lack of name recognition. While Trump stands as the most favorable candidate in the GOP race among Republicans — 77 percent view him favorably — 39 percent said the same of Scott. However, 32 percent said they have never heard of him, and another 19 percent said they have heard of him but have no opinion.
In February, WCSC reported that Scott was asked if he planned to run for president, but he essentially dodged the question, neither confirming nor denying.
“So, the truth is, as I kick off my ‘Faith in America’ tour, it will give me a lot of information about what America is looking for and where their focus is,” the Palmetto State senator said.