Democrats are launching formidable challenges against Republican Senate incumbents all around the country, including in South Carolina, where Lindsey Graham’s Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison, raised a record-setting $13.9 million in the second quarter of 2020. Harrison’s total second quarter fundraising haul, which the campaign revealed this week, set a record for the total amount of money raised by a Democratic statewide campaign in South Carolina in a single quarter. Harrison had also set the single-quarter fundraising record in the first quarter of 2020, when he raised $7.4 million — which he’s now almost doubled.
Clearly, there’s a huge appetite for getting Lindsey Graham out of office. Harrison campaign spokesperson Guy King commented:
‘Our campaign’s record-breaking fundraising reflects the grassroots energy behind Jaime’s movement, and will allow this campaign to make the investments necessary to send Lindsey home for good.’
Harrison himself commented:
‘Folks, I am FIRED UP! We raised nearly $14 MILLION last quarter. I cannot describe how grateful I am for your support. I promise you this: Together, we are going to give Lindsey the fight of his political life. And we are going to win.’
🔥🔥 Folks, I am FIRED UP! We raised nearly $14 MILLION last quarter 🔥🔥
I cannot describe how grateful I am for your support. I promise you this:
Together, we are going to give Lindsey the fight of his political life. And we are going to win.https://t.co/k7BABbE3KN
— Jaime Harrison (@harrisonjaime) July 7, 2020
Although Harrison released his second quarter fundraising totals before Graham, and Graham’s numbers weren’t immediately available, campaign fundraising reports from previous periods show Harrison outraising Graham by significant amounts. In the first quarter of 2020, when Harrison raised $7.4 million, Graham’s campaign only raised $5.7 million. Meanwhile, in the period of April 1 through May 20, which includes part, but not all, of the second quarter of 2020, Harrison raised about $600,000 more than Graham — a significant lead.
Graham does have a lead in total cash on-hand. As of May 20, Graham had a total of nearly $14 million in the bank, while Harrison’s campaign reportedly only $6.7 million in cash reserves. Although Republicans have definitely started out with an advantage in the state, that huge amount of money in the bank hasn’t been able to keep the Graham campaign from struggling, it seems — in a Civiqs poll that was conducted at the end of May, Graham and Harrison were actually tied. Each candidate garnered 42 percent of the support. It’s noteworthy that in Civiqs polling of the presidential race that was conducted at the same time, Donald Trump actually came out with a solid lead against Joe Biden, with 52 percent of the support compared to 42 percent for Biden. Perhaps some Trump voters are sick of Graham.
After initially strongly opposing Trump, Graham, who serves as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has since come out strongly in support of the president. Trump has returned the favor — on Twitter, the president offered his “complete and total endorsement” for Graham. He tweeted:
‘Senator @LindseyGrahamSC is a good friend and strong voice for the people of South Carolina. He’s helped us confirm GREAT Judges, rebuild the Military, and keep our Country SAFE. Strong on Life and our Vets. Lindsey has my Complete and Total Endorsement!’
Senator @LindseyGrahamSC is a good friend and strong voice for the people of South Carolina. He’s helped us confirm GREAT Judges, rebuild the Military, and keep our Country SAFE. Strong on Life and our Vets. Lindsey has my Complete and Total Endorsement! https://t.co/UzEJ5jjnNX
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2020
Trump’s own political chances keep falling, though, and he might drag Senate Republicans down with him. States with especially vulnerable Republican incumbents who face high possibilities of losing in November include Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Maine.