Senator Tim Scott appears to be a presidential candidate on the rise.
And the South Carolina senator’s upward mobility in the race for the Republican presidential nomination has put a target on his back.
Scott is up to 11% in a new poll in Iowa, the state that kicks off the GOP presidential nominating calendar.
He is ranked third in the FOX Business poll, which was released Sunday. That’s well behind former President Donald Trump, the front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination, but only five points behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is in second place.
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The senator is also surging in the latest polls in New Hampshire, which is holding the first primary and second general contest on the Republican calendar.
“People want to hear common sense, and common sense conservatism is the path to another American century. We’re excited that the enthusiasm we’re hearing on the ground is reflected in the latest polls,” Scott said last week in a Fox Digital interview in New Hampshire.
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And he stressed that he and his campaign are going to “keep doing what we’re doing. It’s working. So we have to keep showing up. Keep having the resources to put on TV.”
But Scott’s upward movement in the polls and his strong fundraising in the race for the White House – which has allowed him to blanket early voting states with ads – have fueled efforts by rivals to put a mirror to the senator’s back.
Super PACs aligned with two of Scott’s rivals — DeSantis and former ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — have targeted the senator.
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And as Politico first reported and Fox News confirmed, operatives for these super PACs and other campaigns are beefing up their opposition investigative files on Scott when it comes to his past actions, comments and record in the Senate.
Scott’s campaign is reeling.
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“This grassroots opponent is so weak and dishonest that even Tim Scott’s political opponents won’t put their names on it. Clearly, those looking to slow Tim’s momentum are watching the same polls as we are,” Scott’s campaign communications director, Nathan Brand, told Fox News.
And a Scott ally who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely argued that “if the Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley campaigns spent as much time worrying about their candidates as Tim Scott, they wouldn’t be collapsing in early state polls, leaving questions about their long-term viability.”