Republican presidential contender Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) has dropped out of the 2024 GOP primary, the latest high-profile exit from the race.
Scott made the announcement on Fox News’s “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy,” the host himself a former Republican South Carolina congressman who wrote a book with Scott.
“I love America more today than I did on May 22, but when I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate. I am suspending my campaign,” Scott told Gowdy. “I think the voters who are the most remarkable people on the planet have been really clear that they’re telling me: Not now, Tim.”
Scott’s campaign sent a fundraising email just minutes before he made his announcement, giving donors what it called “one last chance to donate this weekend and help Tim reach his campaign goal.”
Scott launched his candidacy in May 2022 and was the second South Carolina Republican to enter the race, after former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. He campaigned on a largely positive and optimistic message that drew on his personal story as someone raised by a single mother who came to be the only sitting Black Republican senator.
The announcement came just days after the third GOP primary debate.
Over the summer, Scott showed some signs of momentum in early state polling briefly, as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis struggled to narrow the gap between himself and former President Trump.
But Scott was unable to capitalize on that momentum during the Republican presidential debates, particularly during the first debate, when he was largely in the background as candidates Vivek Ramaswamy, Mike Pence and Haley clashed.
And though Scott enjoyed a campaign war chest of $22 million when he entered the race — money he accumulated while fundraising as a senator — his campaign also grappled with a high cash burn rate.
The Scott campaign announced in October that the senator was going “all in on Iowa” and moving its headquarters to West Des Moines, Iowa, as the campaign increasingly saw the Hawkeye State as the “make-or-break” state.
“We have made the decision that it’s Iowa or bust for us, and I’m looking forward to being there,” Scott told conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt late last month.
Updated at 10:09 p.m. ET