Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the U.S. Senate, announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential elections, according to a submission to the U.S. electoral regulator on Friday, May 19. Scott’s campaign message of unity and optimism marks a significant departure from the combative tone prevalent in his party.
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Coming from a humble background and raised by a single mother, Scott frequently highlights his personal journey as a testament to America’s opportunities. His positive outlook starkly contrasts with other potential contenders, including former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who have painted the U.S. as a nation under threat from a corrupt, liberal establishment.
As a Black conservative, Scott holds a unique position in a nation where political preferences often correlate with racial identity. In the 2020 presidential election, about 92% of Black voters supported Democratic candidate Joe Biden, while 55% of white voters chose Trump.
Scott has previously voiced criticism of Trump for his racially charged comments and even rejected several of his judicial nominees on these grounds. Yet, he has also reproached Democrats for allegedly stoking racial discord for political benefits.
Despite his own experiences with racial discrimination, Scott persistently asserts that America is not a fundamentally racist nation.
However, Scott faces considerable challenges in his presidential bid. Polling averages indicate that only around 2% of Republicans intend to vote for him in the primary, and his national recognition remains relatively low. Over half of Republican voters plan to vote for Trump, and about one in five favor DeSantis, who is anticipated to announce his candidacy in the coming days.