Tim Scott’s Plan to Win Over Black Republicans for Trump


Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) is gearing up to rally black voters for former President Donald Trump with a fresh multimillion-dollar campaign effort, aimed at preventing President Joe Biden from securing victories in key battleground states.

This initiative, which will be rolled out across half a dozen states, comes as Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, seeks to become Trump’s vice presidential pick. He has been a vocal advocate for the former president on the campaign trail and emphasized his rapport with black voters while unveiling the campaign to a small group of reporters in Washington, D.C.

“I do with black voters in South Carolina two or three times better than the average Republican,” Scott remarked. “There’s a reason why I win the reddest counties in South Carolina by about 8-10 points better than the average Republican because I performed better with the conservatives there, but I also win the blue counties where no Republicans are winning at all.”

“I’m able to bring together the working-class coalition that is typically more minority than any other place in the country,” he added.

Through his Great Opportunity PAC, Scott is leveraging a $14.3 million travel and advertising budget, aimed at building on the shift of nonwhite voters away from Biden. The strategy is to sway a small percentage of nonwhite voters, particularly black voters, toward Trump.

A swing of 3 to 5 percentage points, Scott argued, could result in “tectonic shifts” in battleground states that Democrats would struggle to counter.

“There is no way to fill the hole. The coalition that is necessary for the Democrats to have success, period, is not just black and Hispanic; it’s specifically black [voters] in the battleground states where they have to be successful,” he said. “If you change those numbers in those larger cities, you can’t make it up somewhere else.”

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump attends a primary election night party at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia, South Carolina, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, alongside Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Biden and his campaign, aided by Vice President Kamala Harris, kicked off a nationwide black voter initiative in Philadelphia last week, as the party responds to polling data indicating declining support among black voters.

Although the majority of black voters still favor Biden—77% versus Trump’s 18%, according to Pew Research Center polling—the president might be losing significant traction compared to 2020, when he captured nearly 90% of the black vote.

“A lot of African American men have said, ‘You know what, I’m going to take a closer look at the Republican Party and the GOP,’” Scott said. “Much to the chagrin of many folks, there’s no doubt that African American men are wide open for a political shift.”

Scott’s PAC has a $14.3 million operating budget, which includes $9 million for voter contact, $4.8 million for earned and paid media, $330,000 for research and data, and $225,000 for other operations and legal expenses. An unnamed aide for the group mentioned they’ve raised roughly half of the funding and intend to secure the remaining funds in the coming months.

“There has always been an undercurrent of conservatism in the black community, particularly in the social and faith spaces we’ve felt the most,” the aide said. “We knew there was potential for spreading the message about conservatism.”

Echoing Trump, Scott also suggested that there is more opportunity to persuade black voters to vote for the former president after his conviction by a New York court for falsifying business records.

“I honestly think this decision is helpful in driving even more folks to the Republican Party,” Scott said. “African American men are fed up with this two-tiered justice system, so much so that I would suggest the number today is closer to 45% to 50% of African American men who are open” to the GOP.

Ramsey Touchberry
Ramsey Touchberry
Ramsey Touchberry is a Capitol Hill Reporter focusing on energy and environment. Previously, Ramsey covered Congress for Newsweek and was a multimedia reporter at a local NPR and PBS affiliate in Florida. A native of the Sunshine State, Ramsey graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in broadcast and digital journalism.

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