And then there were five. Tim Scott has announced that he is suspending his campaign for president, telling Fox News that the voters “weren’t saying no, but rather not now.”
Tonight, I suspended my campaign for president.
Traveling this country and meeting all of you has been one of the most fantastic experiences of my entire life.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
God Bless the United States of America. pic.twitter.com/yniJWQMW1N
— Tim Scott (@votetimscott) November 13, 2023
“I love America more today than I did on May 22. But when I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate. I am suspending my campaign,” he said.
“The announcement Sunday night took many of Scott’s aides and donors by surprise. Two people close to his campaign said they were not given advance notice, even though it was becoming increasingly clear Scott was facing an uphill struggle to break through in the GOP primary,” writes CNN.
“The super PAC supporting Scott pulled its slate of television ads in October, and, following last week’s third GOP presidential debate, decided not to make a new investment.
Scott’s presidential prospects dimmed over the last several weeks, beginning with the super PAC’s decision to pull its ads. Last month, the Scott campaign said it was going “all in” on Iowa in an effort to gain on his primary rivals by targeting the first nominating contest on the GOP calendar.
Scott kept the decision to exit the race close to his vest, people linked to his campaign said, but the timing was more surprising than the announcement itself. His team had been worried about qualifying for the fourth Republican debate next month, after being the last candidate to meet the donor and polling thresholds to make last week’s debate. He had been hoping a strong debate performance would jumpstart his candidacy, but even he conceded to advisers and allies that hadn’t happened.”
Sources close to the Scott campaign told CNN that by leaving the race now the he could avoid an embarrassing finish in Iowa.
The South Carolina senator is the second major candidate to leave the race for the White House over the past month. Former Vice President Mike Pence suspended his campaign near the end of October, making the annoncement at a Republican Jewish Coalition gathering.
Scott stated he would not be making an endorsement any time soon.
“The voters are really smart,” Scott said, according to The Associated Press. “The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in on who they should endorse.”
He also appeared to rule out serving as vice president, saying the No. 2 slot “has never been on my to-do list for this campaign, and it’s certainly not there now.”
Scott’s departure does not impact the race that much, he was polling in the low single digits. It does, however, leave former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley as the only South Carolinian in the race, potentially giving her a leg up in one of the most important early primary states.
The only two candidates polling in double digits continues to be former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.