Tim Scott has a real chance of being the first black Republican elected from the South since the 19th century, but he doesn't want to dwell on it. “I'm looking to the future,” the South Carolina candidate says. Despite the state's troubled racial history, Scott seems destined for victory, facing only token Democratic opposition. He chalks that success up to “the evolution of an issue-centric electorate,” he tells Newsweek.
"Voters are more interested in your issues than in any other characteristic," he says. And on the issues, Scott is as red as it gets; he's hawkish on national security and immigration, opposes gay marriage, and favors repealing health care reform. In an ironic twist, he once worked for one-time segregationist Strom Thurmond. He says if there's any problem with his race, it's among black voters, not Republicans. “It's certainly cutting across the lane, being a black Republican,” he admits.