Republican Sen. Tim Scott drops out of race for president

Tim Scott Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, speaks to members of the media in the spin room following the third Republican presidential primary debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami on Nov. 8, 2023. | Credit: GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination for president on Sunday night, further narrowing a candidate field led by former president Donald Trump.

“I am suspending my campaign,” Scott said in a Fox News interview on Sunday. “I think the voters, who are the most remarkable people on the planet, have been clear that they’re telling me not now, Tim.”

“I’m going to respect the voters,” Scott went on, “and I’m going to hold on and keep working really hard, and I look forward to another opportunity.”

The junior senator for South Carolina, Scott, 58, has been in office since 2013. Despite his experience, his campaign failed to ever gain any significant traction, polling at 2.5% in Real Clear Politics latest poll, well behind both the first- and second-tier candidates in the Republican primary.

He is a vocal pro-lifer and Christian and was outspoken about his faith and the protection of the unborn in last week’s GOP presidential debate in Miami.

Scott said in the debate that his campaign was focused on “restoring faith” and “restoring our Christian values.”

“Our founding documents speak to the importance of a faith foundation,” Scott said. “You don’t have to be a Christian for America to work for you, but America does not work without a faith-filled Judeo-Christian foundation.”

Scott was the first at the debate to say that he would unequivocally support a 15-week national limit on abortion, saying that he believes such a law would be “in our nation’s best interest.”

“We need a 15-week federal limit,” Scott said. “I would certainly as president have a 15-week national limit. I would not allow states like California, Illinois, or New York to have abortion up until the day of birth.”

He challenged the other candidates on the stage to support a 15-week national abortion ban, asserting that “3 out of 4 Americans agree with a 15-week limit” and that “47 out of 50 countries in Europe agree” as well. He also said that he would introduce a parents’ plan that would fund and devote resources to crisis pregnancy centers and adoption.

Scott is the second presidential candidate to drop out of the race in the last few weeks. Former Vice President Mike Pence suspended his campaign on Oct. 28, saying in a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition that “it has become clear to me, this is not my time.” 

Trump currently leads the Republican primary race by a wide margin, at 56.6%. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is in second place with 14%, and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy are at 8.7% and 5.3%, respectively, according to the latest poll by Five Thirty-Eight

President Joe Biden and Trump are currently nearly tied, with most recent national polls placing them within the margin of error of each other. 

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