Senator Tim Scott to Spend $14 Million Wooing Black Voters for Trump

(Bloomberg) -- South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, a top contender to be Donald Trump’s running mate, is on a public tour to show his potential boss what he can bring to the Republican presidential ticket: Black voters and billionaire donors.

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A political action committee with close ties to Scott, the lone Black Republican in the Senate, is planning to spend $14 million to help turn out low-propensity Black and Hispanic voters in key battleground states, the group announced Wednesday.

Scott’s allied super PAC from his failed presidential bid transferred leftover funds to this new venture, Great Opportunity Policy Inc.

Scott is also planning a Washington event featuring billionaires and major political donors Citadel’s Ken Griffin, Pershing Square Capital Management’s Bill Ackman and Apollo’s Marc Rowan.

The moves demonstrate Scott’s bona fides: authenticity in reaching out to voters of color and his close ties with Wall Street from serving in a leadership role on the Senate Banking Committee.

The timing is highly convenient, coming just weeks before Trump says he will name a vice presidential pick. The presumptive Republican nominee has publicly mused in interviews about Scott’s value as a surrogate when asked about potential vice presidential picks. Trump has also suggested he’ll draw out the process, waiting until right before a running mate would be officially nominated at the Republican National Convention in mid-July.

That gives Scott the opportunity to publicly audition for the role, in which he’s facing competition from several other Republicans including fellow Senators Marco Rubio and JD Vance, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and former Trump administration official Ben Carson.

In his outreach to minority voters, Scott is targeting Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, where small shifts can determine the outcome of the presidential election.

President Joe Biden and Trump are virtually tied in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, the northern industrial states that have become known as the “Blue Wall” because of their importance to Democrats’ hopes of winning the White House, according to a May Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll.

The Biden campaign and its allies for months have been spending on messages to reach out to voters to counter concerns about his age and the economy. The president’s team has also recently increased spending on messaging to target Black and Latino voters, two groups a Trump-allied super PAC also says it plans to reach with a new $100 million effort.

In 2020, 92% of Black voters supported Biden over Trump, but that margin has narrowed, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Seventy-seven percent of Black voters said they’d support Biden to Trump’s 18%, that survey found.

Scott attributes the economy — particularly persistent inflation — to this shift.

“Joe Biden and Democrats have taken the Black vote for granted,” said Jennifer DeCasper, executive director of the Great Opportunity PAC. “We will only change historic voting patterns if we don’t just hope and pray, but we actually show up, make the case, and close the sale. That’s what this plan calls for.”

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

Biden campaign spokesperson Sarafina Chitika characterized Scott’s outreach as a “last-ditch effort” to defend Trump’s “racist agenda.”

“President Biden is on the campaign trail showing up – himself – to earn, and not ask for, Black Americans’ support. That is what leadership looks like,” she said.

Just a week ago, Biden and Harris made a rare joint campaign stop in Philadelphia to bolster support from Black Americans, a critical bloc to Biden’s 2020 win.

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