Now that the House is formally set to approve articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump this coming week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is preparing to presumably help lead the ensuing Senate trial. He might also be preparing to lose in the 2020 elections, in which he must face the voters yet again in his quest for continued relevance. Following his dramatic reversal from Trump critic to ardent Trump defender, Graham has now been recorded with a razor thin lead over Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison. In a new Change Research/ Post and Courier South Carolina poll, Graham leads Harrison by just two percent — which is more than conquerable.
In the poll results, 47 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Graham, while 45 percent expressed support for Harrison. Since the margin of error was 3.1 percent — that’s a statistical tie. In that match-up, a full nine percent of voters say they’re undecided. Even more directly, when simply asked to choose between Graham and any Democratic candidate, only 38 percent of likely general election voters said they’d likely vote for Graham, while a full 53 percent of respondents said they’d likely vote for someone else. Ten percent of respondents said they weren’t sure what they’d do, in that case.
Harrison responded to the poll directly, writing on Twitter:
‘Senator, you’re in for the fight of your career. This movement cannot be stopped!’
Senator, you're in for the fight of your career. This movement cannot be stopped! pic.twitter.com/LbLQ0PaD02
— Jaime Harrison (@harrisonjaime) December 13, 2019
Harrison’s campaign website states:
‘Jaime knows there is no quick fix to the challenges that face South Carolinians, and he knows what it’s like to be caught in the middle of political games. He’ll work with anyone, regardless of party, to champion solutions that can make the American Dream a reality for more South Carolinians, from growing the middle class to protecting health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Jaime believes that we are all in this together, and he’s running to bring that spirit back to Washington.’
That’s the opposite of the Republican platform as exemplified in Graham’s behavior. Although Republicans like to call Democrats “do nothing,” House Dems have passed hundreds of bills in the time that they’ve been in the majority. Senate Republicans have simply ignored most of those bills.
Underlying Graham’s dismal showing is a remarkably low favorability rating — even in a state in which a very slim majority of respondents actually view Trump himself favorably. A majority of respondents also declared that they’d prefer that Graham approached the upcoming impeachment trial with an “open mind,” and he’s indicated the exact opposite stance. Weeks ago, he proclaimed he’d decided there was nothing to the impeachment-sparking Ukraine scandal, and more recently, he said he thinks the Senate should “vote and end” the trial without hearing from witnesses beyond those which the House has already called.
These stances aren’t exactly getting him ahead. Only 38 percent of South Carolina voters view Graham very or somewhat favorably, while a full 53 percent of poll respondents said they view Graham very or somewhat unfavorably. Graham’s standing gets even worse when looking just at independents, who are always a potent voting bloc. A full 60 percent of them said they hold unfavorable views of the prominent Senator, while only 28 percent of those independent respondents said they view Graham favorably. That’s not exactly a solid way to build a winning coalition!