Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) will launch a presidential exploratory committee on Wednesday, according to a source familiar, taking him one step closer to formally challenging former President Trump for the GOP nomination in 2024.
The launch comes as Scott makes stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina this week. Scott would be the highest-profile figure to jump into the GOP primary field since Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, announced her bid in February.
The Post and Courier was the first to report on the committee.
The news comes as Scott prepares to travel to the early presidential contest states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. The senator is expected to launch the committee on the same day that he’s in Iowa. An exploratory committee would allow Scott to raise money for a future presidential campaign, as well as foot the costs for polling and travel in the run-up to his decision.
Scott has been inching toward launching a campaign in recent months and has the support of many of his Republican colleagues in the Senate. Sens. John Thune (S.D.), Mike Rounds (S.D.) and John Cornyn (Texas) have said they have encouraged Scott to launch a bid, while Sens. Kevin Cramer (N.D.) and Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) said they’ve spoken privately with him about a potential run.
Yet numerous polls show former President Trump dominating the potential Republican primary field with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R ), who has not yet entered the race, trailing in second place.
According to the Real Clear Politics polling average of the GOP primary, Trump leads with 51.4 percent support, while DeSantis comes in at 24.7 percent. Former Vice President Mike Pence garnered 4.9 percent on average, while Haley came in at 3.9 percent. Scott clocked in with less than one percent on average.