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Is This Tim Scott’s Moment? Likeable Senator Climbs in GOP Presidential Polls



Republican presidential candidate Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., hugs Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds after their Fair-Side Chat at the Iowa State Fair, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP/Charlie Neibergall)
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Tim Scott’s life story exemplifies the American Dream.

Raised in poverty in South Carolina, he went to college, became a businessman, and, eventually, a U.S. senator representing his home state.

Scott, 57, also exudes a likeability — natural and honed — that sets him apart from the two Republicans leading the polls for their party’s presidential nomination.

At this juncture, former President Donald Trump is the runaway poll leader, but he also faces four criminal indictments and some of his biggest political backers are looking for a fresh face.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is second in the polls. However, his campaign has stalled and is struggling to woo Trump supporters.

Scott Enters the Spotlight in Iowa

Third in national and crucial Iowa caucus polling (at about 10% support) is Scott. And, with Scott and other Republican aspirants, at the Iowa State Fair this week to glad-hand voters and donors, Scott’s quest for the presidency has earned him national media attention.

“Trump Indicted. DeSantis Struggling. Is This Tim Scott’s Moment?” is the headline in today’s Wall Street Journal story.

CNN, meanwhile, has a question of its own: “Tim Scott’s likability is fueling his rise. But how high can he climb?”

It’s much too early to answer these questions.

But know this: Scott is a well-practiced politician who rarely — if ever — attacks rivals and instead focuses on delivering positive messages and commonsense answers.

Enough Campaign Cash to Get the Word Out

Scott also has amassed a considerable campaign chest to ensure that GOP voters in the important early primary states of New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina have a chance to compare and contrast him to Trump, DeSantis, and others.

“What I like about him, relative to the field, is he’s very aspirational,” Stanley Druckenmiller, a billionaire investor who has donated $150,000 to Scott’s super PAC, told The Wall Street Journal.

Read more here and here and here.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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