Lowcountry South Carolina businesswoman Nancy Mace says her campaign is in “second place” behind incumbent U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (RINO-S.C.) in the race for the Republican Senate nomination.

Furthermore, Mace says she is “poised for a runoff with Senator Graham” after the June 10 primary election.

“These next few weeks will be crucial as we put together the resources to combat the millions of dollars being spent by Senator Graham thanks to the lobbyists, PACS, and DC influence peddlers,” Mace wrote this week in a campaign fundraising appeal.

Graham – as FITS has touched on previously – is all sorts of beholden to powerful special interests.

We’ve always believed Mace to be the most electable of the aspiring “anti-Graham” candidates, most of whom are die hard social conservatives with views likely to alienate many fiscal conservative voters … and independent voters … and women voters.

Graham’s campaign agrees …

Sources close to the campaign of S.C. Sen. Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) rebuked Mace’s assessment of the race, pointing to a poll their campaign publicized earlier in the week showing Graham at 48 percent, Bright at 19 percent and the remainder of the field (Mace, Upstate businessman Richard Cash, Midlands pastor Det Bowers and Afghan War veteran Bill Connor) combined at 18 percent.

“Lindsey Graham is not going to get to 50 percent, and then he’ll have to face us in the run-off,” Bright said in a statement accompanying his poll, adding he “can’t wait for the chance to go one-on-one with Lindsey Graham.”

Sources close to Mace referred to Bright’s poll as “fantasyland.”

In addition to the GOP field running against him, Graham is likely to face former S.C. Treasurer, businessman and reality television star Thomas Ravenel in the November general election. Ravenel has said he would run as an independent in the event Graham receives the GOP nod.