The visual of Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) going after Democrats during Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearing was jarring. Instead of appearing like a solid senator, he came across as a rabid possum. After riding along as Senator John McCains’ patriotic sidekick, Graham jumped the fence and landed next to a lawless Donald Trump. Why?
It appeared that the South Carolina’s senator feared losing his seat. He seemed willing to do whatever it took to remain a senator — anything. As a result, he gained himself a serious opponent. The former Democratic South Carolina state party chair Jaimie Harrison.
Graham’s challenger gain donors from each of South Carolina’s 46 counties. He raised over $3.5 million from 112 contributors in the 4th quarter. His average donation ran about $27. Harrison has over $4.6 cash on hand, according to The State.
Trump’s impeachment trial will only begin after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) delivers the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. Thus far, she has not explained when she planned to do so. Yet, Graham may have made a fatal flaw.
As one of the 100 Senators who forms the jury during an impeachment trial, Graham would be forced to appear in Washington, D.C. rather than out on the campaign trail. During his jury duty, no senator can even bring his or her phone into the courtroom. Graham has already canceled a number of events scheduled for early to mid-January.
Harrison will not be under the same restrictions. He has been making campaign stops, lunching with voters then speaking to groups of them. Harrison said during an interview with The Post and Courier:
‘Before impeachment, during impeachment and after impeachment we are going to be focused on the people of South Carolina. I’m going to be all over the state in communities Lindsey has ignored for a long time now, and I’m going to be talking to people who feel they no longer have a senator that has their back.’
Both Harrison and Graham have challengers at this point. Harrison has two, Graham, five. Harrison’s strategy was to stay local and be very visible. He intends to cross the state to talk about issues important to the voters rather than the impeachment trial.
‘If you live in one of those communities, you could have voted for Trump or Clinton, but it doesn’t matter. If you have a heart attack or a stroke or complications with pregnancy and it takes you more than 35-45 minutes to get to a hospital, that can be a death sentence. What has the senator done to alleviate the pressure of that situation?’
Political scientist and pollster at Winthrop University Scott Huffmon said Harrison was going after swing voters:
‘He’s reaching for the leaners. The Republicans are very strong in South Carolina. They hold every statewide office. If you’re Lindsey Graham and you turn out the Republican base, you’re safe. But if Democrats can start turning out people who aren’t Trump supporters or don’t see themselves as far-left, then there’s a chance.’
Graham’s spokesperson T.W. Arrighi said:
‘Senator Graham’s first priority is doing the job that the people of South Carolina elected him to do. There will be plenty of time for campaigning after the impeachment trial is over.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.