Eliminated US presidential candidate Scott supports Trump

Former US President Donald Trump has received the support of eliminated candidate Tim Scott in the Republican presidential race. Four days before the New Hampshire primaries, the senator appeared at a Trump campaign event in the northeastern US state on Friday evening. The 58-year-old African-American shouted to the cheering Trump supporters that he had come “to support the next President of the United States.”

“We need a president who will close our southern border today. We need Donald Trump,” said Scott, who withdrew from the race for the White House in November due to poor poll numbers. “We need a president who will unite our country. We need Donald Trump.”

Trump, for his part, called Scott a “fantastic man.” “Having his support means a lot. We have to unite. We have to take action against these crazy people we are dealing with,” said the ex-president.

The support of the only black Republican senator is a win for Trump in his party’s primary race. At the same time, it is a bitter setback for Trump rival Nikki Haley – especially since Scott, like her, comes from the state of South Carolina. The timing of Scott’s support for Trump is also inconvenient for the former US ambassador to the United Nations and former governor of South Carolina.

Haley has high hopes for the next New Hampshire primary next Tuesday. In the state, voters registered as independents are also allowed to take part in the Republican primaries. This suits Haley, who is considered a comparatively moderate Republican – especially compared to Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Polls put Haley at around 34 percent in New Hampshire, according to an average calculated by the website FiveThirtyEight. Trump gets 49 percent and DeSantis only five percent. Scott’s support could give Trump a further boost.

US broadcaster CNN reported that Trump was already in talks with Scott to secure his support ahead of the South Carolina primaries on February 24th. But the announcement was brought forward after support for Haley increased.

In his campaigns, Scott, who grew up in poor circumstances, often emphasized his Christian faith and conservative values. Together with four other candidates, he took part in the third Republican television debate at the beginning of January. Scott had previously said he was not seeking the office of vice president.

Trump had already clearly won the primary election opener in the state of Iowa on Monday: the right-wing populist got 51 percent there, 30 points ahead of DeSantis with 21 percent and 32 points ahead of Haley with 19 percent.

There are few other US states where primaries take place in the form of a caucus like in Iowa, where voters gathered in gyms, fire stations and churches to cast their votes for their party’s presidential candidacy. In most of the 50 states, presidential candidates are voted on in “primaries.” These are elections that take place throughout the day with ballots cast at polling stations.

The winner of the statewide Republican primary will challenge incumbent Joe Biden of the Democratic Party in the November 5 presidential election.