Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina announced Sunday night that he will drop out of the 2024 presidential campaign.
“When I return to Iowa, it won’t be as a presidential candidate. “I’m suspending my campaign,” Scott said in an appearance on former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy’s Fox News show.
“I think the voters, who are the most remarkable people on the planet, have been very clear in telling me: not now,” Scott continued.
The announcement came as a surprise: Scott’s campaign sent out a fundraising email shortly before he announced he was dropping out of the race. “We want to give you ONE LAST CHANCE to donate this weekend and help Tim reach his campaign goal. Can you contribute to help Tim win?” wrote the campaign.
His decision comes days after the third Republican presidential debate in Miami, after which the South Carolina senator canceled a campaign tour scheduled for the weekend in Iowa, citing the flu.
Scott entered the 2024 campaign relatively unknown compared to some of his competitors. But his campaign and an allied super PAC spent nearly $25 million on ads in Iowa and other early states promoting him as an optimistic conservative, according to AdImpact, an ad-tracking service. Scott saw an uptick in early state polls in early summer.
But he never caught fire in Republican debates and his poll numbers stagnated when an in-state rival drew attention. Scott is dropping out of the presidential race just as former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley came in second in early state primary polls.
Scott indicated in the interview with Gowdy that he was not looking to endorse one of his former rivals at this time.
“I’m going to recommend that voters study each candidate and their candidacies and, frankly, their past and make a decision for the future of the country,” Scott said. “The best way for me to help is to not have a say in who they should support.”