Democrat Jaime Harrison is raising unprecedented amounts of money in his bid to unseat “Republican” incumbent Lindsey Graham. But is his record-breaking haul going to be enough to put him over the edge? Not according to a new survey of South Carolina voters published by Morning Consult.
Tracking polls taken between October 2-11, 2020 showed Graham receiving the support of 48 percent of likely voters in the Palmetto State compared to 42 percent for Harrison – who is hoping to become the first Democrat to win a statewide election since 2006 (and the first to win a U.S. Senate race since 1998).
Driving Graham’s lead? His starring role in the confirmation battle over Amy Coney Barrett – U.S. president Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. supreme court.
“The polling comes amid a tougher than expected contest for the third-term senator,” Morning Consult’s Eli Yokley noted. “He was already a national target of liberal outrage for his role in the confirmation fight for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, but the left’s ire grew as the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman prepared to take a starring role in the effort to replace Ginsburg with President Donald Trump’s nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.”
That ire has fueled a staggering $57 million in campaign contributions for Harrison in the last quarter alone – but the fight over the high court seat also appears to be moving conservative voters who are leery of Graham back into his camp.
The previous Morning Consult polling data – taken between September 8-17, 2020 had Harrison drawing 46 percent to Graham’s 45 percent.
“Democrats have hoped to use the Supreme Court fight to fire up opposition to a number of Republican incumbents,” Yokley added. “While the issue has been a fundraising boon in the party’s effort to take back the Senate majority, polling shows it also appears to be aiding incumbent Republicans in states viewed as a reach for the Democratic Party.”
No Democrat has won a U.S. Senate race in South Carolina this millennium. The last to do it? The late Fritz Hollings, who defeated GOP congressman Bob Inglis in 1998. In fact, no Democrat has won a statewide election in South Carolina since 2006 – when Jim Rex defeated Karen Floyd in the race for state superintendent of education.
Rex has since left the Democratic party, too – co-founding what is now the Alliance Party of South Carolina in 2014.
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