In Graham's Re-Election Bid, a Fundraising Surprise

Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison outraises the South Carolina incumbent
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2020 11:22 AM CDT
In Graham's Re-Election Bid, a Fundraising Surprise
In this Feb. 24, 2020, photo, Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison, who's challenging US Sen. Lindsey Graham, speaks at a South Carolina Democratic Party dinner in Charleston, SC.   (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)

Lindsey Graham raised an impressive $5.6 million for his re-election campaign in the first three months of the year, behind only fellow Sens. Mitch McConnell and Martha McSally. But in a surprise, Graham's Democratic challenger in South Carolina raised even more—$7.3 million, reports the Post and Courier. Now Jaime Harrison, former state party chairman, has begun rolling out TV ads to make himself more familiar to the state's voters. The race is obliterating state fundraising records, in part because money for both candidates is coming in from across the country. That's likely because Graham, a strong ally of President Trump, is seen as a "polarizing" figure in national politics, notes the newspaper.

So is Graham in trouble? It doesn't look like it. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report still sees him as a safe bet to win re-election this year, categorizing the race as "solid" for Republicans. Plus, Graham has more in the fundraising bank than Harrison, a total of about $12.8 million to the challenger's $8 million, notes the Hill. The senator's campaign is further emphasizing that Graham had to cancel fundraisers in the first quarter because of the Trump impeachment trial. And a final complicating factor for Harrison: The coronavirus outbreak means candidates can't do any campaigning in person these days. (Read more Lindsey Graham stories.)

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