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Tipsheet

Will Tim Scott Be Next to Declare He's Running for President?

AP Photo/Mic Smith

While former and potentially future President Donald Trump is the highest profile 2024 contender who has declared, it's only a matter of time before he'll be joined by other big names. Former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC), who was also Trump's ambassador to the United Nations, is expected to formally announce later this month, as Matt covered. There's another contender who may be getting closer to announcing though, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).

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There had been some chatter for the past few weeks, but as Fox News' Paul Steinhauser reported on Wednesday, Scott is officially embarking on "Faith in America," a sort of listening tour. Like Haley's announcement, which is coming on February 15, it will also take place later this month. 

As Steinhauser explained about the tour:

The tour, which was shared first with Fox News on Wednesday, will kick of later this month with speeches in his home state — which holds the third contest in the Republican Party’s presidential nominating calendar — and in Iowa, whose caucuses kick off the GOP’s race for the White House.

In another sign that will generate more buzz about an increasingly likely White House run, Scott will run digital ads in Iowa ahead of his visit, paid for by his 2022 Senate re-election campaign.

Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate one of the GOP’s top fundraisers, will travel to Iowa to headline the Polk County Republican Party's Lincoln Dinner on Feb. 22 in West Des Moines, as Fox News first reported earlier this week. We’re now learning that the senator earlier that day will deliver remarks on the importance of faith in America in a speech in Des Moines.

Steinhauser also touched upon the ways in which the senator himself has hinted at a presidential run:

While Scott has repeatedly demurred when asked about 2024, he hinted in November at a possible future run during his re-election victory celebration by telling the story of how he took his grandfather to the polls in 2012, and that his grandfather proudly voted for him as well as for Democrat Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black president.

"I wish he had lived long enough to see perhaps another man of color elected president of the United States," Scott said, before adding "but this time let it be a Republican."

Scott made three stops in Iowa last year to help fundraise and campaign for Republicans running in the 2022 midterm elections. He also made a couple of stops the past two years in New Hampshire, which for a century has held the first primary in the White House race and directly follows Iowa in the GOP presidential nominating calendar.

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Scott recently won reelection last November, with his race being called almost immediately after the polls closed, earning 62.95 percent of the vote to Democrat Krystle Matthews' 37.05 percent. While the race was considered to already heavily favor Scott, it didn't help that Matthews was caught on tape last September saying about white people that "you gotta treat them like sh*t, like I mean, that’s the only way they’ll respect you" and compared them to children in that "they get out of control--like kids."

Regardless of what Scott does for 2024, the new term he just started serving will be his last. He was appointed in December 2012 by Haley, then the governor of South Carolina, to replace Jim DeMint, who was leaving the Senate to run the Heritage Foundation. 

Scott won with 61 percent of the vote in the 2014 special election, and again when running for a full term in 2016. 

As Leah mentioned in covering Scott's reelection, the senator and potential presidential candidate also seemed receptive to being Trump's running mate, at least when talking to Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures" last February. 

"I think everybody wants to be on President Trump's bandwagon, without any question," Scott said. "One of the things I've said to the president is he gets to decide the future of our party and our country because he is still the loudest voice."

A primary tracker from Morning Consult last updated on January 31 that was just recently tweeted out on Thursday night, shows Scott with 1 percent of the vote and Haley with 3 percent. No other candidate besides Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who may be announcing his run in the coming months, have support in the double digits. 

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