US Senator from South Carolina Tim Scott speaks during the third Republican presidential primary debate at the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, on November 8, 2023. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Mandel Ngan | Afp | Getty Images
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina announced Sunday night that he is dropping out of the 2024 presidential campaign.
“When I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate. I am suspending my campaign,” Scott said in an appearance on former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy’s Fox News program.
“I think the voters, who are the most remarkable people on the planet, have been really clear that they’re telling me: not now,” Scott continued.
The announcement was a surprise: Scott’s campaign sent a fundraising email not long before he announced he was leaving the race. “”We want to give you ONE LAST CHANCE to donate this weekend and help Tim reach his campaign goal. Can you chip in to help Tim win?” the campaign wrote.
His decision comes days after the third Republican presidential debate in Miami, after which the South Carolina senator canceled a scheduled weekend campaign swing in Iowa, citing the flu.
Scott started the 2024 campaign relatively little-known compared to some of his competitors. But his campaign and an allied super PAC spent nearly $25 million on ads in Iowa and other early states promoting him as an optimistic conservative, according to AdImpact, an ad-tracking service. Scott saw an uptick in early-state polls soon through the summer.
But he never caught fire in the GOP debates, and his poll numbers stagnated as an in-state rival caught attention. Scott is dropping out of the presidential race just as former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has pulled into second place in early-state primary polls.
Scott indicated in the interview with Gowdy that he wasn’t looking to endorse one of his former rivals at this time.
“I’m going to recommend that the voters study each candidate and their candidacies and frankly, their past and make a decision for the future of the country,” Scott said. “The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in on who they should endorse.”