VOTE 20

Infamous Trump Ally Sen. Lindsey Graham Is Getting Financially Clobbered By Opponent Jaime Harrison

Democrat Jaime Harrison has raised a record-breaking $57 million in his past three months of campaigning.

Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic opponent Jaime Harrison | Getty Images
Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic opponent Jaime Harrison | Getty Images

Democrat Jaime Harrison, who could unseat Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in the South Carolina Senate election, has raised a record-breaking $57 million in his past three months of campaigning.

Harrison’s huge third quarter fundraising feat shattered the previous record held by former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who unsuccessfully sought to unseat Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 (he did come close: the final tally, Cruz at 50.9% and O’Rourke at 48.3%, was the closest Senate race in Texas since 1978). According to the Center for Responsive Politics, O’Rourke raised a record-setting $38 million in July through September 2018, which at the time was the largest-ever fundraising quarter for a U.S. Senate candidate. Now, Harrison has smashed that record by nearly $20 million.

“This campaign is making history, because we’re focused on restoring hope back to South Carolina,” Harrison’s campaign spokesman Guy King said in a statement to multiple outlets. “While Lindsey Graham continues playing political games in Washington, Jaime Harrison is remaining laser-focused on the real issues impacting people here — like health care, broadband access, and COVID relief for businesses and families.”

Harrison’s campaign against incumbent candidate Graham started out slow but has been bolstered in the last few months by grassroots support. According to a Vox report, citing Harrison’s campaign, the $57 million in fundraising came from nearly 1 million individual donors who averaged $37 per contribution. His substantive fundraising and polling metrics have turned the South Carolina race into a toss-up, which could help flip the Senate to a Democratic majority.

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Graham’s campaign has not yet reported its third-quarter fundraising.

A fierce Trump ally, Graham recently told Fox News that he’s “getting killed financially” as his opponent’s fundraising efforts have skyrocketed.

Graham has also refused to get tested for COVID-19 ahead of the Senate hearings to confirm federal appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, which started Monday, resulting in the cancellation of a scheduled debate between him and Harrison on October 9. The two candidates instead took part in individual interviews in which they answered questions from a moderator and panelists.

Several journalists observed that Graham’s refusal to take a test despite exposure to the deadly virus was likely due to his desire to move forward with the Barrett hearings Monday, uninterrupted. Harrison has hammered Graham for his hypocrisy over the Barrett nomination, given that the incumbent senator said in a hearing in 2016, on camera, that he would not support moving forward with a vacancy should it occur in an election year under a Republican president.