DCPolitics

Graham + The Machine

Fiscally liberal incumbent Lindsey Graham isn’t trying to win his 2014 Republican primary election in South Carolina. Far from it. What is he trying to do? Fundamentally redefine the way GOP primary races are run in the Palmetto State … and every state which permits “open” primary elections (or primaries…

Fiscally liberal incumbent Lindsey Graham isn’t trying to win his 2014 Republican primary election in South Carolina. Far from it.

What is he trying to do? Fundamentally redefine the way GOP primary races are run in the Palmetto State … and every state which permits “open” primary elections (or primaries in which non-registered “Republicans” can vote).

Graham, who has a $7 million war chest at his disposal, has reportedly hired an out-of-state firm to run what one national consultant called “the most sophisticated voter identification and turnout platform ever implemented at the state level.”

According to a source familiar with the project, Graham’s team is assembling “an army” of precinct captains all across the state – operatives who will organize their neighborhoods using voter profile data from a custom database.

Their mission? To identify and turn out Democrats and left-leaning independents who don’t typically vote in GOP primaries – as well as “centrists” and left-leaning “Republicans” who do.

“They have over 1,000 precinct captains already lined up,” a source familiar with Graham’s effort tells FITS. “More are coming online every day. They are building a machine.”

Graham’s campaign did not respond to our request for comment on the operation. Graham’s consultant, Richard Quinn, also did not respond to our request for comment.

One national operative said Graham’s massive grassroots mobilization effort was akin to “a candidate creating a new party” – although our SCGOP sources were quick to dispute this characterization, choosing instead to refer to the operation as a “unique primary focused infrastructure.”

Whatever you want to call it … it’s the reason Graham hasn’t done what he usually does prior to a primary election, which is tack to the right of the ideological spectrum. Instead Graham has pressed the accelerator down and made a beeline toward the left.

“He’s basically saying ‘Screw the SCGOP, I’m going to build my own constituency,'” our national source explained.

Graham’s support among GOP primary voters has weakened considerably in recent months – with polls showing favorable conditions for an upset. That isn’t surprising considering Graham has backed tax hikes, domestic spying, war with Syria and – most recently – budgets that fully fund Obamacare.

Three Republicans have announced their candidacies against Graham in the 2014 primary – S.C. Sen. Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg), Charleston businesswoman Nancy Mace and Upstate social conservative businessman Richard Cash. Combined, the three candidates only have about $500,000 in their campaign war chests.

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31 comments

jurisdoc October 17, 2013 at 3:19 pm

That looks like a pecker sucking machine in the photo…..

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Frank Pytel October 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm

The one on the left looks like the machine works well.

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? October 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm

It’s a surprise he’s not running for Guvna.

That being said, he kinda looks like a braying jackass to me.

You have to hand it to him though, he appeals well to Dems in the state and truly has an unbeatable coalition.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein October 18, 2013 at 1:30 am

an unbeatable coalition.

Idiots and liberal Democrats.

*Hope the Dept. of Redundancy Bureau doesn’t come down too hard on ol’ TBG…

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sweepin October 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm

The Strom Thurmond model worked quite well. He gave perfunctory acknowledgment to the Republican Party only on occasion.

I’d say Graham is on the right track.

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Birds Eye View October 17, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Fits knows Graham is going to win easily and is already analyzing the reasons for his victory.

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Cecil October 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Some of Graham’s challengers should run as independents.

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The Colonel October 18, 2013 at 7:37 am

…run as independents…”, Yeah, that will work well.

There are exactly two independents in the Senate – that’s the most there have ever been since the pre-WWII era when there were 4, you’d have to go back to 1899 to find more than that. The House has never had more than 4. Right now there are exactly zero.

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Fred October 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm

If there are few or no major contested elections on the Democratic Primary ballot, Graham’s strategy is brilliant! It’ll be cheaper and easier to pull weak Dems/independents to vote than change the mind of ultra-conservative that vote every primary. He is got $7 million reason this will work@@@

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Smirks October 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Open primaries in a one-sided state are a godsend for crappy incumbents, that’s for sure. Graham’s thanking his lucky stars.

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ThreePalms October 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm

The primary is 18 months out and you guys are already setting up to make the “crossover” excuse for Graham’s easy dismissal of Mace, Bright, Cash, et. al.

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Cecil October 17, 2013 at 8:58 pm

I will only vote for a democrat or an independent. I will never vote for a republican again. I will never vote for anyone who allies himself with Ted Cruz and other Tea Partiers, who were running around the White House waving Confederate flags. There is no way I will ever be convinced that it was not racism to wave a Confederate flag in front of the home of an African American family, even if it is the home of the President of the USA. I blame the incumbent Republicans for letting this kind of rabble take over the party. Such gutless wonders will no longer get my vote.

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vicupstate October 17, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Mine either. I am just the type of voter Graham is targeting, but he lost my vote by throwing red meat to the Teapubicans. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

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Cecil October 17, 2013 at 10:04 pm

I’ll have to see who is running before I make a decision, but I will definitely take a closer look at an independent or any blue dog democrat. I liked the way Graham stood up to the Tea Party back in 2009, but later he went along with them and tried to ally with them and they ended up hating him. This was a mistake, but this is just my opinion.

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New Deal for everyone October 17, 2013 at 10:53 pm

You two are crazy. Graham is the only chance we have of getting a moderate with some occasional progressive leanings into office in this state.

In districts like his a Dem has no chance.

He simply pays lip service to the Tea Party freak show, that much is obvious to any but the most dull, and it’s not enough for them and he doesn’t give a damn.

He reaches across the aisle ALL the time. This is one Dem that is voting for him in the primary because that is where the real election is, not any where else.

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Cecil October 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm

. Right now I am very angry with the Establishment GOP for letting the Tea Party take over the party and their refusal to stand up to a delusional idiot like Ted Cruz. There is just not enough room for me and the Tealiban in the same party.

Southernationalist October 19, 2013 at 10:30 am

I am Ted Cruz just as those oppressed by Rome were Spartacus.

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Philip Branton October 17, 2013 at 9:09 pm

We think the title of this article is rather striking. We wonder what would be said if it was “SCOTT the MACHINE”…….

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unnamed off record October 17, 2013 at 9:48 pm

So….Nancy Mace is now writing articles (again?)

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Cecil October 17, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Too bad she decided to ally herself with Cruz and Paul.

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Mike at the Beach October 17, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Good Lord…it wouldn’t matter. We could “close” the primaries effective tomorrow and sugarbritches would STILL get 55-65% of the vote.

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Cecil October 17, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Your colorful description “sugarbritches” gave me a good laugh. I really needed that!

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Southernationalist October 19, 2013 at 10:29 am

No doubt his little friends suffer from cavities.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein October 18, 2013 at 1:17 am

GRAHAM + THE MACHINE

Sybian?

Sure sounds like gay porn to TBG.

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euwe max October 18, 2013 at 10:52 am

Isn’t this the guy who always greets new news with moderate statements, and then votes crazy?

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Olaaf October 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm

If victory were so certain for Hraham, why is he hiring a fancy data firm to find dem voters? Scam artist.

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Bye Bye You Sack of Shit October 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm

No worries. He has already been beaten to the punch. Graham can kiss his God Damn fucked up and corrupt ass “goodbye.”

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BIN News October 18, 2013 at 8:20 pm

sic(k) willie keeps pandering to right-wing Teabugger wackos and writing like he thinks Senator Graham is at risk.

The truth?

sic(k) willie and the Teabugger wackos can’t stand the truth.

Graham reelection by a landslide in the primary and general election.

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moovova October 19, 2013 at 9:28 am

It’s that you, Sen McCain?

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Southernationalist October 19, 2013 at 10:28 am

One of the three challengers should withdraw from the primary and hold him or herself ready for an independent run to ensure Miss Lindsay’s defeat. Yes, even if it means electing a Democrat. The defeat of this satanic animal and his tweedle dum twin in Kentucky is more important than anything else next year.

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Southernationalist October 19, 2013 at 10:28 am

One of the three challengers should withdraw from the primary and hold him or herself ready for an independent run to ensure Miss Lindsay’s defeat. Yes, even if it means electing a Democrat. The defeat of this satanic animal and his tweedle dum twin in Kentucky is more important than anything else next year.

Reply

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