Tim Scott’s eye popping 2022 fundraising grabs 2024 attention

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Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is hauling in a lot of campaign cash as he runs for reelection in 2022, and that’s generating some buzz about 2024.

The only Black Republican in the Senate and a rising star in the GOP brought in $9.6 million during the April-June second quarter of fundraising, which is an eye popping figure. And as of the end of June, the senator had $14.4 million in his campaign coffers.

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“South Carolina is ready to reelect Tim Scott and we are proud of the record breaking support we have received so early in the cycle,” Scott campaign consultant Sam Oh said in a statement.

As of now, Scott is unlikely to face a challenging reelection next year in the reliably red Palmetto State, where he won his 2016 election by nearly 25 points. Last November, then-President Trump carried the state by 12 points and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham won reelection by 10 points despite record-breaking fundraising from Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, who’s now the chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only Black Republican in the Senate and a rising star in the GOP, on June 28, 2021 launched his 2022 re-election campaign. 

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only Black Republican in the Senate and a rising star in the GOP, on June 28, 2021 launched his 2022 re-election campaign. 
(@votetimscott/Twitter)

Scott has become a high-profile Republican during his tenure in the Senate. He grabbed national attention earlier this year when he gave a well-received GOP response to President Biden’s primetime address to a joint session of Congress. And he’s the lead Republican in negotiations with congressional Democrats on a major police reform bill. 

Pundits see him as a possible 2024 GOP presidential nomination contender. His trip earlier this year to Iowa, the state whose caucuses kick off the presidential nominating calendar, sparked speculation about potential national ambitions, and his massive fundraising haul will as well.

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“Tim Scott is a force,” longtime New Hampshire-based Republican consultant Jim Merrill said. 

“His strong numbers reflect how he has inspired activists and business leaders alike, good for both his reelection next year and for a potential presidential campaign in 2024,” Merrill, a veteran of numerous GOP presidential campaigns, added.

Asked by Fox News earlier this year about a possible 2024 White House run, Scott downplayed such talk, declaring that his “only objective is to be the United States senator for the great state of South Carolina.”

But Scott has also said that the 2022 race will be his last Senate campaign.

Pence, Pompeo, Noem, spotlight their social conservative credentials

Former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem all spoke Friday in Des Moines, Iowa to some 1,200 evangelical activists at the 10th annual Family Leadership Summit, which is hosted by the Family Leader, a top, Iowa-based social conservative organization.

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“I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican in that order,” Pence said, repeating a well-used line. “To turn this country around, we need to turn the American people back to God, back to one nation under God.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Family Leader's annual leadership summit, in Des Moines, Iowa on July 16 2021.

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Family Leader’s annual leadership summit, in Des Moines, Iowa on July 16 2021.

His Granite State swing came a couple of weeks after he headlined an Iowa GOP fundraiser.

During his Friday night speech, the senator announced that he introduce legislation that aims to prevent mergers between big tech companies. He argued that such mergers are “presumptively anti-competitive under the anti-trust laws” and are allowing the tech giants to “directly or indirectly to suppress the voices of tens of millions of Americans simply because of their political views.”

DeSantis rising

Trump remains extremely popular with the conservative base of the GOP as he continues to play a kingmaker’s role in Republican Party politics and repeatedly teases a 2024 run to try and return to the White House.

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He scored 70% support in a 2024 Republican presidential nomination straw poll conducted a week ago at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas. And he grabbed roughly 50% support in a 2024 nomination question on a recent nationwide poll of Republicans conducted by veteran GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio, who polled for Trump in both his 2016 and 2020 campaigns.

But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came in second on the CPAC straw poll, at 21%. And he also placed second in Fabrizio’s survey, at 19%.

DeSantis, a first-term governor and Trump ally who soared in popularity among conservatives nationwide for his resistance to lockdowns and COVID restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, easily topped a second 2024 CPA ballot question – without Trump on the hypothetical ballot. DeSantis grabbed 68% support on that question, with everybody else in the mid to low single digits.

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In a similar question in Fabrizio’s poll, DeSantis was the clear frontrunner – at 39% – at this extremely early phase of the 2024 cycle. Pence came in second at 15%, with every other potential GOP presidential contender registering in the single digits.

DeSantis on Saturday was once again in the spotlight, traveling to Texas to team up with fellow Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to tour the U.S.-Mexico border and take aim at the Biden administration over the border crisis.