Sen. Tim Scott announced on Sunday that he is suspending his presidential campaign.
The South Carolina Republican senator made the announcement in a televised interview on Fox News with Trey Gowdy. The news came as a shock to his own staff. Multiple campaign staff members confirmed to POLITICO that they had no prior knowledge of Scott’s decision before he did so on live television.
Scott, who has been stuck in the low-single digits in polling, had announced that his campaign was going all-in on Iowa in a last-ditch effort to boost his chances in the Republican presidential contest. It’s unclear just how many of his staff members were drafted to move to Iowa after his campaign manager announced last month that staff would be relocating to the first caucus state.
Less than half an hour before he made the announcement, Scott’s campaign sent out a fundraising email with the subject line “One Last Chance.”
Scott qualified much later than his opponents for the Republican National Committee’s third debate — struggling to reach the required 70,000 donor threshold. And he remained at risk of failing to qualify for the next debate, which had even higher donor and polling criteria. The polling threshold for the next debate, on Dec. 6 in Alabama, is 6 percent, a mark Scott has not been hitting.
The campaign had been spending significantly more than it had brought in as well. It spent $12.4 million in the third fundraising quarter, while raising $4.6 million.
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