Home News Tim Scott’s eye popping 2022 fundraising grabs 2024 attention

Tim Scott’s eye popping 2022 fundraising grabs 2024 attention

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. 
(@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.

Pence, a congressman and Indiana governor before serving as vice president under Donald Trump, has long been a strong ally to the social conservative movement. Pence started his day in Iowa headlining a fundraiser in the northwest part of the state for GOP Rep. Randy Feenstra.

Pompeo, an Army veteran and former congressman from Kansas who served as CIA director in then-President Trump’s administration before becoming America’s top diplomat, touted that “not a single dollar that came to the State Department ended up in the hands of an abortion provider somewhere in the world” during his tenure as secretary of state.

And in her address, Noem spotlighted her social conservative credentials, saying “I have committed to be the most pro-life governor there is” and adding “I believe I’m still the only governor in the country who has a person on staff who’s job description is to be an unborn child advocate.”

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Noem, a strong Trump ally, told Fox News on Friday that the former president “had America right where we needed her. His polices were right. So I’m counting on him running” again in 2024.

And Noem downplayed her visit to Iowa, saying “it’s my neighboring state. I’m here all the time. I was just here earlier this week.”

Stops that spark speculation

Pence and Pompeo have been crisscrossing the country in recent months, to help raise money and support fellow Republicans running in elections this year and in the 2022 midterms. Those travels have now brought Pence to Iowa, New Hampshire – the state that holds the first primary in the White House race and votes second in the presidential nominating calendar – and South Carolina, which holds the first southern contest and votes third in the GOP calendar.

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Friday’s jam-packed one-day swing through Iowa for Pompeo, a Fox News contributor, was his second visit so far this year. He’s headlining a major fundraising dinner for the South Carolina GOP on July 30. And Fox News has learned that he’ll visit New Hampshire the next day.

Asked about 2024, Pompeo on Friday told Fox News that “my wife and I will pray and we’ll think our way through it and when we hit 2023, we’ll figure our way through it.”

And if Trump follows through on his repeated flirtations and launches another White House run, Pompeo said “President Trump will do his thing… he’ll make his choice. We’ll do our bit.”                                                                                                                                   

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations during Trump’s first two years in the White House, is also traveling the country to support GOP candidates. Fox News learned that Haley early this upcoming week will speak at the Republican Governors Association summer meeting in Aspen, Colorado.

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Two other politicians on that very large list of potential 2024 GOP presidential contenders also have travel plans later this summer that are sparking speculation. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, will headline an Iowa GOP event in Clear Lake on August 30th.  And Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a Trump ally, will be the main attractions at the Dallas County, Iowa  GOP “Party Like a Patriot” event on Sept. 2nd in West Des Moines.

Cotton swings into New Hampshire

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, another potential GOP White House hopeful, on Friday and Saturday made his first swing this year through New Hampshire. He headlined a major fundraising dinner for the Coos, Carroll, and Grafton County Republican Parties on Friday night, keynoted a breakfast event Saturday morning for the Rockingham County GOP. 

And Cotton, an Army infantry officer who served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, was the main attraction at this Hillsborough County GOP’s third annual machine gun shoot fundraiser.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas fires a machine gun at the third annual Hillsborough County, New Hampshire GOP machine gun shoot event and fundraiser, on July 17, 2021.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas fires a machine gun at the third annual Hillsborough County, New Hampshire GOP machine gun shoot event and fundraiser, on July 17, 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.