In Iowa, Tim Scott rarely specifically mentions race. The Republican nominee for president is not required to either.
At his campaign events throughout the state, he is frequently the sole Black person present. The South Carolina senator describes himself as the result of early role models who instilled in him a lack of resentment. He frequently asserts that America is not inherently racist when the topic of race is brought up.
One of just two Black Republicans running for president, Scott is wagering that his positive message of personal responsibility, encased in the Christian faith he freely professes, would appeal to Iowa Republicans who might be considering a break from former President Donald Trump.
Recent surveys indicate that among prospective Iowa voters who will participate in the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, which are still four months away, Scott’s support is hovering around 1 in 10.
That places Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, and Donald Trump both well behind. Yet, it shows that Scott’s standing in Iowa is a little higher than it is nationwide, where his support is still hovering in the low single digits in the majority of recent polls.
Political experts believe that Scott may have special advantages among Republican voters on racial matters, even though his viewpoint may not be shared by all voters or in a general election.
According to AP VoteCast data, only 18% of voters for Republican candidates in the 2022 midterm elections believed racism to be a very serious issue in American culture, compared to 61% of those for Democratic candidates.
Race in America
Scott contends that American society has evolved through time and that racism is just one of many forms of hatred that exist in the country.
Scott was the first Black Republican elected to Congress from South Carolina since the 1890s when white Democrats ousted many Republicans from office following Reconstruction and disenfranchised Black people through state-sponsored violence, including lynching.
Scott was elected to the U.S. House in 2010, becoming the first Black Republican elected to Congress from South Carolina since that time.
Scott defeated Paul Thurmond, the son of former South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond, a racial segregationist who battled against civil rights legislation, to win the House primary. Scott later received a Senate appointment and has since been re-elected twice for terms of six years.
Most of the Republican candidates for president contest the existence of systemic racism in the United States. Core Republican audiences have been enlivened by the study of race in American society.
Legislation limiting how race can be taught in public schools has been cited in several Republican-controlled states. Attempts to ban or cut funding for diversity and equality initiatives meant to rectify inequities in racial representation have also been made by GOP lawmakers in various states.