Lindsey Graham in close reelection race in South Carolina
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) is virtually tied with his Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, according to recent polls.
A Quinnipiac University poll showed that roughly 48% of voters said they support Graham, while the same amount said they favor Harrison.
The Harrison campaign was quick to capitalize off of the poll results raising more than $1 million after the race was said to be a dead heat.
“Sen. Graham is in for the race of his life, and he is getting more nervous every day about his re-election chances,” Harrison’s campaign manager Zack Carroll said. “Lindsey Graham has changed after 25 years in Washington into someone who puts his political fortunes ahead of problem-solving. Voters are turning towards Jaime Harrison, who will work hard to deliver real results and represent South Carolina values in the U.S. Senate.”
The same poll showed President Donald Trump leading Joe Biden in South Carolina, 51% to 45%.
Graham’s campaign criticized the poll.
“We learned long ago not to put much confidence in media polls or outside groups who don’t understand South Carolina politics,” campaign spokesman T.W. Arrighi said. “It’s not our goal to generate buzz or clicks but to win a campaign. And our internal polling shows we are on track to accomplish that goal.”
The South Carolina Senate race is seeing record fundraising numbers with both campaigns raising large amounts of money for their respective campaigns. As expected for an incumbent, Graham was leading in fundraising at the beginning of the campaign. Harrison has quickly caught up and now even surpassed Graham. In August, Harrison raised more money than Graham had in a three-month period.
Quinnipiac University analyst Tim Malloy says this is the first real election battle Graham has faced.
“A victor by almost 16 points back in 2014, Senator Graham stares down the first real test of his Senate tenure. Outspent and accused by some of being a Trump apologist, he is in a precarious tie,” said Malloy.
The poll found that the top three issues to South Carolina voters are law and order, the economy and the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump is still generally favored in the state; however, his support does drop when voters are asked about his handling of the current pandemic with 48% of voters disapproving.
Graham who ran for president in the Republican primary in 2016 has become a staunch ally of Trump and is the powerful chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. His defeat would be a major upset.
PHOTO: ERIN SCHAFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
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