Tim Scott’s Campaign Announcement Lacked Buzz of Other 2024 GOP Launches

56% of potential Republican voters heard nothing about the South Carolina senator after he announced his campaign
Share of potential Republican primary voters who heard something positive, negative or nothing at all about the following Republican presidential candidates after they launched their campaigns:
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*Survey conducted among Republican voters, not the potential primary electorate.

The Trump survey was conducted Nov. 18-21, 2023, among 738 Republican voters, with a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points. Other surveys conducted in 2023, among more than 700 potential Republican primary voters each, with unweighted margins of error of +/-3-4 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

June 01, 2023 at 5:00 am UTC

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The bulk of the GOP’s expected electorate heard nothing about Sen. Tim Scott after he launched his presidential campaign, though the South Carolina Republican did see a small bump in support following his announcement last month, according to Morning Consult surveys. 

Scott’s launch had little impact on his primary standing

  • Nearly 3 in 5 potential Republican primary voters (56%) said they had seen, read or heard “nothing” about Scott following his May 19 campaign launch, while 38% heard something positive and 7% heard something negative. 
  • Buzz around Scott’s campaign launch may have been overshadowed by news surrounding Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ own 2024 announcement a few days later. Nearly 7 in 10 potential GOP voters (68%) said they heard about DeSantis after he launched his bid on May 24, and it was mostly positive.
  • Scott’s level of support in the primary field increased 2 percentage points to 3% while his favorability rating increased 3 points to 44%, according to Morning Consult’s 2024 GOP primary tracker. Both figures are within the surveys’ margin of error.
  • More voters said they hadn’t heard anything about entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (76%) or former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (78%) after their campaign announcements in February and April, respectively, while far more heard about Haley’s campaign announcement.

How Scott’s seen by the overall electorate

Scott is more popular than not among the overall electorate, with 28% saying they view him favorably and 21% saying they view him unfavorably. Still, less than half of all voters (49%) have formed views about him at the dawn of his campaign, making him less known than any other contender besides Ramaswamy (39%) and Hutchinson (34%). 

In turn, Scott performs poorly in a head-to-head matchup against Biden at this juncture in the campaign — just like Haley did when she launched her campaign in February — largely due to lack of name recognition.

Scott Performs Worse Against Biden Than Trump and DeSantis

Share of voters who said they would vote for President Joe Biden if the 2024 presidential election were held today against the following Republicans: Sen. Tim Scott, former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
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The Scott survey was conducted May 24-27, 2023, among a representative sample of 1,961 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points. The Trump/DeSantis surveys were conducted May 25-27, 2023, among representative samples of roughly 5,700 registered voters, with unweighted margins of error of +/-1 percentage point. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Among the overall electorate, 35% would support Scott, while Biden pulls 44% — similar to the incumbent’s level of support when facing Trump and DeSantis.

There’s little difference by race, either, when considering that Scott is one of only two Black Republicans in the race: Roughly 2 in 5 white voters and nearly 7 in 10 Black voters would vote for Biden, regardless of his opponent. Scott pulls less support among both white and Black voters than Trump and DeSantis do against Biden, with voters more likely to be unsure when considering the South Carolinian compared with the former president or Florida governor.

The latest survey was conducted May 24-27, 2023, among a representative sample of 1,961 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.

A headshot photograph of Eli Yokley
Eli Yokley
U.S. Politics Analyst

Eli Yokley is Morning Consult’s U.S. politics analyst. Eli joined Morning Consult in 2016 from Roll Call, where he reported on House and Senate campaigns after five years of covering state-level politics in the Show Me State while studying at the University of Missouri in Columbia, including contributions to The New York Times, Politico and The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter @eyokley. Interested in connecting with Eli to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].

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