Senator Tim Scott has launched an exploratory committee for a 2024 presidential run. While not as concrete as entering the race, the formation of an exploratory committee is a step in the direction of candidacy. If Scott does enter the race for the GOP nomination, he will be competing in what should be a crowded field including, most notably, former President Donald Trump and likely to announce at somepoint Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
But Scott seems confident he can stand apart from the crowded field.
“I have found that people are starving for hope. They’re starving for an optimistic, positive message that is anchored in conservative values,” Scott said. The message of hope and optimism stands in stark contrast to the more common Trump/conservative messaging/fearmongering about the decline of American values.
Scott said that he decided to launch the exploratory committee after touring early primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and (his home state) South Carolina. Whatever Scott encountered on the ground in the early primary states seems to have left him encouraged, like he had an opportunity in 2024.
The Exploratory Committee
By launching an exploratory committee, Scott has now opened “an all-but-declared presidential campaign,” The New York Times reported. “An exploratory committee will allow the senator, who would enter the Republican primary with nearly $21.8 million on hand in his Senate account, to raise money directly for a 2024 campaign and garner more national attention before a formal presidential announcement.”
Scott is expected to host a donor retreat next weekend, where he can describe his plans to the people he expects to fund those plans. Allies of Scott’s have already set wheels in motion, establishing a super PAC that is expected to help fund a Scott presidential bid.
Scott is scheduled to campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina in the next week, where he is expected to lean into his “only-in-America rise.”
“Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime,” Scott said at the 2020 Republican National Convention. “And that’s why I believe the next American century can be better than the last.” Scott believes his personal story will be appealing to voters, who he believes are starved for a more hopeful and optimistic message. When asked if it would be enough to beat heavy-favorite Donald Trump, Scott spoke of the Democrats and their failures.
“The field of play is focusing on President Biden’s failures.” Scott said. “I believe we give the voters a choice so that they can decide how we move forward as opposed to trying to have a conversation about how to be a Republican. I think we’re better off having that conversation about beating Joe Biden.”
Can Scott Win?
Scott is legitimate – his “biography, his oratorical skills and his prominence as the top-ranking Black Republican in Congress” – make him someone to watch.
But Scott’s 2024 presidential campaign would still be a longshot. Trump still dominates any and all conversations about the GOP field. And as the GOP field becomes more crowded, it may play to Trump’s benefit, given that he retains a sect of zealous supporters; Trump could win in a crowded field, in which no one person wins a majority, with a plurality. And even if Scott’s message resonates as an attractive alternative to Trump’s whole American Carnage schtick, he’ll need to quickly unite the voters who are fractured in search of a Trump alternative.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.