Scott seeks to enter the race as another prominent politician from South Carolina launches her own presidential bid.
On Tuesday, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who also served as Ambassador to the United Nations for President Donald Trump, announced her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. Haley, as a woman and an Indian American, has a similar appeal as Scott. Both have sought to downplay the power that racism continues to have in the United States while using their own stories to promote the idea that the Republican Party represents more than just white men.
South Carolina is an important state in the race for president; the winner of the Republican primary in the state has gone to win the Republican nomination in nearly every race since 1980. But so far, the mostly Republican state seems to be split between not only Scott and Haley but also Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; the competition in Scott’s home state may therefore be particularly fierce in this election cycle.
A few years ago, it was hard to imagine any Republican challenging Donald Trump, who appeared to have an unbreakable hold on the Republican Party. Since then however, Trump’s influence has been weakened by several things, including the Capitol Hill insurrection and its aftermath; several criminal investigations, including election tampering and withholding classified documents; and the failure of many Trump-backed candidates to win office, most notably during the 2022 elections.
With a number of prominent Republicans set to run against Trump for the nomination, Scott will have a long way to go to position himself as the most viable Republican candidate. Some have speculated that this run is less about winning the nomination and more about building a national brand for future races, or perhaps securing the position of vice presidential candidate alongside whichever Republican ends up with the nomination.