South Carolina Democrat Jaime Harrison raises roughly $4 million in effort to oust Lindsey Graham from US Senate

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is up for reelection in 2020, has a number of advantages: he is a GOP incumbent in a red state, and he is a Trump supporter in a state that President Donald Trump won by 14% in 2016. But Democrat Jaime Harrison isn’t afraid to take Graham on, and according to South Carolina’s Post and Courier, his campaign raised $2.1 million over the last three months — which is an impressive amount in light of how Republican South Carolina is. Factoring in money raised prior to that, Harrison’s campaign has brought in around $4 million altogether since a committee was established back in February.


The Post and Courier quotes Harrison as saying, “Our campaign is growing and powered by grassroots supporters across South Carolina and the nation. I am fighting to ensure that every South Carolinian has access to affordable health care, good paying jobs and student loan debt relief.”

Graham’s reelection campaign, not surprisingly, has a larger war chest: $6.4 million. Nonetheless, the fact that Harrison is performing as well as he is against a well-known GOP incumbent in a red state is an important development. The 64-year-old Graham has a long history in South Carolina politics: he served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1993-1995 before serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995-2003 and entering the U.S. Senate in January 2003.

Graham was a close ally of the late Sen. John McCain, although many pundits have noted that if he were still alive, McCain — a blistering critic of Trump — would be appalled by how much of a Trump sycophant Graham has become. Harrison has been attacking Graham as someone who is “no longer a statesman with integrity.”

In South Carolina, economist Gloria Tinubu is also seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Graham in 2020.

Politically, South Carolina continues to be a much tougher state for Democrats than North Carolina, its neighbor to the north. While South Carolina remains deep red, North Carolina has evolved into a swing state: Trump defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by only 3% in North Carolina in 2016 compared to 14% in South Carolina.

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