He likes to recall it: his family went “from cotton to Congress” in two generations, with his grandfather who left primary school to work in the fields of South Carolina during the segregation era. Tim Scott, the only black Republican senator, officially entered the race for the White House for 2024 on Monday.
“I am announcing today that I am a candidate for the presidency of the United States of America,” he thundered in front of his supporters in Charleston. A candidacy applauded by Donald Trump, who dominates in the polls and benefits from the division of the vote between half a dozen Republicans who hope to create a surprise. Waiting for the entry into the running of his most serious opponent, Ron DeSantis, in the coming days.
Opposed to abortion
“I am proof that America is a land of opportunity, not oppression,” Scott said Monday. He regularly assures that Americans “are not racist”. In 2021, he had led negotiations in Congress to reform the police after the death of George Floyd, with Democrat Cory Booker, but they had ultimately failed.
Tim Scott, who places his faith at the heart of his political action, often has to play the tightrope walker to mark his differences with Donald Trump (whom he had notably criticized for his exit against “shitty countries”) without alienating the “MAGA” base of the ex-president. This 57-year-old evangelical Christian, who claims to be “pro-fife”, supports a national ban on the right to abortion after 20 weeks.
Between 1 and 2% of voting intention
Re-elected in a chair in South Carolina in November with a 26-point lead, Tim Scott is particularly popular in his state and among his colleagues. Donald Trump also wished him “good luck” on Truth Social, believing that the senator was “much better than Ron DeSanctimonious”, the nickname he attributed to the governor of Florida, who must announce his candidacy this week.
In the Republican primary, Donald Trump is far ahead, with 56.3% of the voting intentions, according to the average of Real Clear Politics polls, against only 1.8% for Tim Scott, with an anti-Trump vote split between a half a dozen candidates, including Nikki Haley. After surging at the end of 2022, Ron DeSantis is 36 points behind Trump, at just under 20%. But if the former president seems untouchable, he is surrounded by court cases, and the road is still long between now and the Republican convention in August 2024.