Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s mismanaged presidential campaign has some looking to South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott as a possible second choice to former President Donald Trump. Some say that Scott’s positive message makes him a natural contrast with both Trump and DeSantis. The latter has struggled to find a message.
The luster from DeSantis’ landslide win in Florida’s midterm gubernatorial election has worn off due to missteps.
The RealClearPolitics Average gives Scott 3% nationally in the polls.
Primary Polling Shows Tim Scott Gaining
Other early primary state polls show Scott gaining on DeSantis, The Hill reports.
“He’s just a very positive guy who has a positive message for the country. And after so many years now of a deteriorating political environment, I do think there’s a large segment of voters who want that kind of change,” Republican political strategist Mike Dennehy told The Hill.
Scott placed fourth in a Fox Business poll of South Carolina primary voters behind Trump, the state’s former governor, Nikki Haley, and DeSantis.
A University of New Hampshire Granite State poll put Scott third in New Hampshire with 8%.
“I do think that could be playing a factor because, frankly, many people, the class of folks who are paying the most attention right now — which are Republican activists and strong Republican voters who are always interested in elections — they expected more from DeSantis, and they aren’t getting it,” Dennehy said.
Trump has praised Scott.
Tim Scott Suffers from Low Name Recognition
Scott is largely an unknown for most Republican voters. He has low name recognition and most voters do not know what he stands for.
His message appeals more to certain white voters and middle-class black voters.
“I think Tim Scott gains support on his own independent of what happens with Ron DeSantis,” said Dave Wilson, a GOP strategist who previously served as president of the influential Palmetto Family Council. “I think you’ve got a lot of Republican primary voter base that has not made up its mind yet.”
His message that things are improving for black Americans will go unheeded as long as millions of black Americans continue to live in poverty and alienation.
“Let us not forget we are a land of opportunity, not a land of oppression. Democrats deny our progress to protect their power. The left wants you to believe faith in America is a fraud and progress in our nation is a myth,” Scott said in a statement last month. “The truth of MY life disproves the lies of the radical Left. We live in a country where little Black and Brown boys and girls can be President of the United States. The truth is – we’ve had one and the good news is – we will have another.”
Obama Targets Scott
Former President Barack Obama clearly sees a threat from Scott and thought enough of him to attack him last month.
“And so if a Republican, who may even be sincere in saying, ‘I want us all to live together,’ doesn’t have a plan for how do we address crippling generational poverty that is a consequence of hundreds of years of racism in this society, and we need to do something about that. If that candidate is not willing to acknowledge that, again and again, we’ve seen discrimination in everything from … getting a job to buying a house to how the criminal justice system operates,” Obama said.
Republican talk about racial opportunity has largely not been backed up with concrete campaigning or policy proposals. Scott will need more than rhetoric to become competitive. He will need concrete policies to confront the struggles facing black America and to actively campaign for the black vote that Democrats have taken for granted.
Scott likely will not gain more traction unless he has an outstanding performance during next month’s GOP primary debate.
Scott: A VP Pick?
He would be an attractive vice-presidential candidate in the event he is unable to make it out of the pack.
His absolution of giving Trump any blame for the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot likely is calculated to potentially earn the mild-mannered senator the second spot on Trump’s likely 2024 ticket.
“I don’t hold the former president who didn’t show up at the Capitol and threatened my life as responsible … I can only hold responsible the very people who threatened my life and the former president did not threaten my life,” Scott said during an appearance on New Hampshire’s WMUR radio station last week.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.