In a video released this week, the South Carolina lawmaker announced he is taking the next official step toward a bid for president in 2024 by forming an exploratory committee. Scott, who is the only black Republican in the U.S. Senate, would be the nation's first black Republican president if elected.
Dr. Charles Dunn, professor emeritus of government at Clemson University, tells AFN Scott has qualities that voters need to consider – and that American needs.
"Right now, we need candidates of extraordinary character. He is such a man," Dunn states. "He's demonstrated himself in the state of South Carolina to be someone eminently trustworthy, someone who is very humble."
Scott followed up his Wednesday announcement with a Thursday visit to New Hampshire, where he met with GOP officials and pastors. While in Manchester, he said he would support a federal abortion ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy – and that it makes "total sense" he would sign such legislation if elected to the Oval Office.
In an average of polls taken before Scott announced the formation of an exploratory committee, he trails far behind other hopefuls (less than 1%). Still, Dunn says Republican voters should not underestimate Scott.
"He will cause people to think twice about him rather than to dismiss him immediately because the poll data is against him. He's not a candidate playing for the polls," the political scientist offers.
And while Dunn argues Scott is "most definitely" vice-presidential material, the senator's role in 2024 "could be more than that."