In the third quarter of 2020, Democrat Jaime Harrison — who is running to unseat Republican Lindsey Graham in South Carolina — raised the highest single-quarter fundraising total of any U.S. Senate candidate on record. In the third quarter of 2020, the Harrison campaign raised $57 million, which is well over twice as high as the previous record, which was set by Democrat Beto O’Rourke in 2018 when he was challenging Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz. During one of the fundraising quarters in that race, O’Rourke raised almost $20 million, which is, of course, well under Harrison’s latest total.
Across the third quarter, Harrison’s campaign “received 1.5 million donations from 994,000 donors, with an average of $37 per gift,” Axios reports. That’s almost a million people who’ve turned out against Graham. Harrison campaign spokesperson Guy King commented:
‘This campaign is making history, because we’re focused on restoring hope back to South Carolina. While Lindsey Graham continues playing political games in Washington, Jaime Harrison is remaining laser-focused on the real issues impacting people here — like healthcare, broadband access, and COVID relief for businesses and families. After 25 years in Washington, Lindsey Graham has changed into someone voters no longer recognize, and these resources will be instrumental in our efforts to send Lindsey home in November.’
The huge influx of donations for the Harrison campaign underlines one key fact: Americans across the country are energized about the prospect of getting Republicans out of office. Graham has complained that “they hate my guts,” and that’s why the donations have poured in for Harrison — but his perspective on the situation obscures something crucial. There’s not some nefarious anti-American conspiracy fueling the campaign against Graham and other Senate Republicans. There’s a movement of everyday Americans who are sick and tired of the Senate GOP’s willful enabling of destruction like that which has been wrought by the Trump administration.
Graham has been one of the president’s most prominent allies in the Senate. Recently, he’s been working to lead a punitive investigation of the origins of the Russia investigation, which the president and his allies have routinely claimed — without evidence — was simply meant to politically drag down the Trump campaign.
More recently, Graham has also established his determination to get Trump’s latest nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed before Election Day, which is in less than a month. Graham is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which handles U.S. Supreme Court nominations before they head to the full Senate, and if the schedule that Graham has laid out is followed, then the full Senate vote could end up the soonest before a presidential election that a U.S. Supreme Court nominee has been confirmed in the entire history of the United States.
Polling in the South Carolina U.S. Senate race has revealed that Harrison and Graham are running quite closely to each other. A recent poll conducted by GBAO found Harrison with a 1 percent lead, while polling data from Data for Progress from shortly before that had Graham in the lead by 1 percent. In other words — it’s close. Graham and Harrison were supposed to face off in a debate late last week, but Harrison said that he would not attend unless Graham was tested for the Coronavirus, and Graham refused to get a test.