South Carolina Democrat Jaime Harrison has shattered congressional fundraising records, bringing in $57 million in the final quarter for his US Senate campaign against Lindsey Graham as the GOP tries to retain control of the chamber. Harrison's campaign said Sunday that the total was the largest-ever during a single three-month period by any Senate candidate, reports the AP. That tops the $38 million raised by Democrat Beto O'Rourke in 2018 in the final fundraising period of his challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz. Graham hasn't released fundraising totals for the previous quarter, though he's likely been eclipsed. Last month, Graham made a plea for fundraising to help him keep up with Harrison, saying on Fox News that he was “getting killed financially” by Harrison, who he predicted would "raise $100 million in the state of South Carolina. The money is because they hate my guts."
At the end of June, both candidates were roughly matched at about $30 million, largely from out of-state donors. Not including the most recent quarter, Harrison’s in-state contribution amount is 10%. Graham’s is 14%. The latest fundraising report comes one day before what is predicted to be a contentious hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination. Graham is committee chair. His commitment to confirming President Trump's third nominee to the court has become a focal point in the campaign, with Harrison chiding Graham for reversing on promises not to consider election-year nominations. Attributing the fundraising success to grassroots support, Harrison's campaign said the $57 million came in the form of 1.5 million donations from 994,000 donors. The average contribution was $37. (A debate between the two was canceled because Graham refused to take a COVID test.)