2024 Watch: Tim Scott sends new signals on potential presidential campaign launch

South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott is sparking further speculation that he will launch a 2024 presidential campaign. Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate and a rising star in the GOP, in the coming weeks will head to Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that kick off the Republican presidential nominating calendar, and will hold a two-day donor summit in South Carolina.  The senator will travel to Iowa on April 12 for his second trip to the state this year. Scott last month made a jam-packed stop in the Hawkeye State, teaming up with popular Iowa GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds, speaking to students at Drake University, and headlining a Polk County GOP fundraising dinner. His visit to New Hampshire the following day, April 13, will be the senator’s first this year. The early-voting state visits will be immediately followed by a two-day donor summit in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 14-15. Invitations for the event – which will include a reception and dinner on Friday evening and a breakfast, policy discussion, and “political update” on Saturday – were sent to donors across the country. 2024 WATCH: TIM SCOTT SAY HE’S GETTING ‘TREMENDOUS FEEDBACK’ SO FAR The news of the travel and donor gathering was first reported by Politico early Wednesday and confirmed by Fox News. Scott is currently on what he calls his “Faith in America” listening tour, which he says will help him decide whether to launch a presidential campaign. Word of the tour was first reported by Fox News earlier this year.  “We’ll continue our faith in America tour. So far, so good. We’re getting tremendous feedback,” Scott said earlier this month, as he headlined the closing dinner of a three-day donor retreat in upscale Palm Beach, Florida, that was hosted by the politically influential fiscal conservative group Club for Growth. TRUMP WIDENDS LEAD OVER DESANTIS IN LATEST 2024 GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION POLL Scott received a warm response from the crowd at the Club for Growth dinner, which included some of the top donors in the GOP. The upcoming meeting with more top contributors – as well as the early state travel – are more clear signals the senator’s revving up for a likely White House run. “All this is further indication that Tim Scott’s Faith in America message is resonating as he travels the country. Republicans are being introduced to Scott, and so far they like his optimistic message,” a source with knowledge of the senator’s thinking told Fox News. Scott, in an interview with Fox News last month, reiterated that when it comes to 2024, “the mission” should take precedence over “the position.” The senator discussed that mission in a speech during the Club for Growth dinner that was centered on his vision for a “new American sunrise.” “We have to be the kind of champions and enthusiasts that attract more people to our side… we have to have more converts to the conservative message,” he said. “We must be the party of parents. We must say that every single parent deserves a choice because every single parent deserves a chance. We must soundly champion free markets and capitalism. We must take our messages into the corridors of the poorest zip codes in America.” WHO’S IN AND WHO’S ON THE SIDELINES — YOUR GUIDE TO THE 2024 GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION RACE He said that those factors – as well as emphasizing patriotism, strengthening the nation’s southern border, stressing respect for law enforcement, patriotism, and school choice – “are the key principles to the next American sunrise.” Scott, who cruised to re-election in November to what he has said will be his final six-year term in the Senate, frequently spotlights being raised by a single mother and highlights his faith. If he moves ahead with a White House run, he plans to court evangelical Christian voters, who play an outsized role in GOP politics in Iowa and his home state, which holds the third contest in the Republican nominating calendar. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who also appears to be moving toward a 2024 campaign, has long been a champion to social conservatives and is also expected to heavily court evangelicals in Iowa and South Carolina. Scott would also face serious competition from former ambassador to the United Nations and former two-term South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who launched a 2024 presidential campaign last month. Haley – who’s spending plenty of time on the campaign trail in Iowa and New Hampshire – and Scott share many of the same allies and donors.  Former President Donald Trump, who announced his third White House run in November, remains the clear front-runner right now in the GOP nomination race.  And polls indicate that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who remains on the 2024 sidelines but is likely to launch a campaign in the spring or summer, would be Trump’s top rival. While Scott doesn’t have the same national standing with conservatives that Trump and DeSantis enjoy, he’s known as a ferocious fundraiser and had more than $20 million in his campaign coffers at the beginning of the year, which could be transferred to a presidential campaign. The fundraising war chest could give Scott a head start over some of his potential rivals, and also afford him some extra breathing room to make his decision.
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