Republican presidential primary with headlines like “Tim Scott is turning heads with donors and early-state voters” and “Tim Scott’s formidable charm meets a tough Republican electorate.”
While the South Carolina senator is still trailing front-runner Donald Trump in the national race polls, a number of important signs — including fundraising, favorability ratings, and early-state polling—point to Scott as the other potential GOP candidate to keep an eye on.
Currently, the majority of Republican candidates are relatively unknown. As the debates begin and the primaries approach, many voters will begin to pay attention.
It can be useful to observe what is happening among individuals who are already closely following the campaign to predict how these voters may respond later on. The candidates Scott is presenting to this set of voters appear to be appealing to them.
From the Shadows to the Spotlight
Consider the results of the most recent Quinnipiac University survey, which examined the popularity of each GOP candidate. Republicans who had developed opinions of DeSantis, Scott, and Trump found Scott to be the most favored candidate. His 89% approval rating outperformed Trump’s 82% and DeSantis’ 81%.
A candidate’s success is far from certain, even with a high favorability rating. After all, despite Trump’s overwhelming lead over the Florida governor in the polls, DeSantis and Trump both have high scores on this metric.
But voters frequently look more closely at a candidate who has a high positive rating. DeSantis experienced that earlier this year, which aided in his polling-place ascent. He has since significantly trailed Trump in national polls, demonstrating that such an analysis doesn’t always work to a candidate’s advantage.
But Scott appears to be gaining ground in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that count the most right now in the campaign. The Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary are where a candidate needs to succeed if they want to defeat Trump and DeSantis.