A new poll of the South Carolina Senate race shows incumbent Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in a statistical tie with his Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison. In the poll, which was conducted by longtime Democratic-leaning pollster Cornell Belcher on behalf of the Harrison campaign, Graham garnered 43 percent of the support, compared to 41 percent that went to Harrison. That two percent leading margin for Graham is within the poll’s margin of error of 3.5 percent, meaning that the two candidates are, essentially, running at just about the same point, according to the poll results. That makes Graham seem easily able to be toppled.
Belcher, who leads Brilliant Corners Research and Strategies, commented:
‘The polling paints a clear picture: This is a close and competitive race. A majority of voters don’t think Lindsey Graham deserves to be re-elected, and the more they learn about Jaime Harrison, the more they support him.’
Besides the numbers showing the close race between Harrison and Graham, a full 51 percent of poll respondents said that they disapprove of the job that Graham is doing. That doesn’t exactly bode well for his re-election chances! Additionally, only 33 percent of respondents in the state said that Graham “deserves” to be sent back to D.C. for another term, but a full 59 percent said that it’s time to replace him.
Harrison campaign spokesperson Guy King commented:
‘This grassroots movement has been gaining momentum ever since Jaime entered the race last year. South Carolina voters across the political spectrum see that Lindsey Graham is a shell of his former self. As he continues to play political games in Washington, Jaime Harrison is continuing to fight to restore hope in our state, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the health, safety and economic security of South Carolina families.’
Graham, infamously, started out as a political opponent of Trump, but he’s since progressed to a passionate ally of the Trump administration. Currently, Trump actually seems more popular than Graham in South Carolina, as if Graham’s politicking hasn’t paid off — in the polling released by the Harrison campaign, Trump leads presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by 8 percent in the state. In 2016, Trump won the state by a margin of 12 percent. Although it’s a very Republican-leaning area, Harrison has been making some inroads for his campaign — in the second quarter of 2020, he raised $13.9 million, which was millions more than Graham’s campaign’s haul in the same period.
Trump has tied to buoy Graham. On Twitter, Trump posted an endorsement, reading:
‘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
Will that be enough to keep Graham from losing? Time will tell. Currently, the Cook Political Report estimates that five currently GOP-held seats are toss-ups, including seats in Montana, Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, and Maine. Democrats would need a net gain of at three seats plus the White House or four seats altogether in order to become the majority party. (Adding three Dem seats would leave the chamber 50-50, and vice presidents break ties, meaning the White House’s inhabitants could determine which way a 50-50 Senate leans.)