Donald Trump remains the frontrunner in polls pitting him against other presidential candidates, but conservative political commentator Charlie Kirk feels moderate GOP donors may direct their donation dollars toward a different presidential candidate because of “white guilt”.
Trump was the first high-profile candidate to announce his presidential bid in November and recently, the GOP presidential candidate pool has grown more crowded. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced her campaign in February, and in the last 10 days, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also tossed their hats into the ring after widely anticipated campaign launches for both. Trump continues to dominate in the polls but could struggle to perform well in the primaries amid ongoing legal battles and the frequent vitriol he shares on Truth Social.
However, Kirk feels Scott, the first Black man to represent South Carolina in Congress, holds an advantage over Trump by attracting much-needed fundraising dollars from GOP donors because of “white guilt”.
“Republicans have been in search of our own Obama since 2008, as if that’s going to solve all of our problems,” Kirk said in a recent episode of his eponymous talk show. “It’s too bad you have to look at everything through a racial lens because Senator Tim Scott, regardless of his race, has a lot actually to offer in a very powerful and charismatic way. I think he’s a thoughtful person, even though he’s far more moderate than I am on certain issues.
“Senator Tim Scott certainly will continue to resonate with a more moderate Republican donor that they want center-right policies,” Kirk added, before feigning to quote moderate GOP donors. “‘Oh, this is Senator Scott and he’s not like that guy that you don’t like. He’s a moderate and he’s center right.’ There’s a lot of white guilt too that pervades some of these donor decisions, make no mistake.”
Newsweek reached out to Scott’s campaign by email for comment.
Scott’s optimistic outlook is an about-face from Trump’s verbal attacks, but Newsweek reported that Scott remains far behind Trump in a hypothetical one-on-one matchup, with a survey by the prestigious Harvard/Harris poll released last week showing Trump with a 79-21 advantage over Scott in a two-person contest. The poll was conducted online within the United States between May 17 and 18 and surveyed 2,004 registered voters.
When Scott was included with other potential GOP candidates like DeSantis, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former vice president Mike Pence and Trump, only 1 percent of GOP voters admitted they would vote for him, with 58 percent admitting they would vote for Trump and 16 percent for DeSantis.
The poll posed a question to GOP voters on who they would vote for in the primary if Trump did not run for president, of which Scott jumped a percentage point but DeSantis became the easy frontrunner.