Embattled U.S. senator Lindsey Graham handily defeated the most well-funded U.S. Senate candidate in American history on Tuesday evening, securing a fourth six-year term in Washington, D.C. in large part due to his support for U.S. president Donald Trump’s latest supreme court pick.
With an estimated 86 percent of votes counted, Graham eviscerated Democrat Jaime Harrison – receiving more than 1.1 million ballots (56.6 percent of the vote) compared to just over 831,000 votes (or 42 percent of the vote) for his rival.
That is an absolutely shocking margin considering Harrison raised more than $100 million in his bid to oust the powerful judiciary committee chairman.
Needless to say, Harrison was forlorn over the outcome … as this race seemed within his grasp as recently as two weeks ago.
“We didn’t get the result at the ballot box that we wanted, but we showed courage and determination,” Harrison tweeted. “We brought hope back to South Carolina. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”
Meanwhile, Graham was ebullient …
“I’m going back to the Senate with a purpose,” the 65-year-old Seneca, S.C. native said. “I’ve never wanted my job more than I do now, I’ve never appreciated my job more than I do now, I’ve never been more grateful to have it and I think I’ve never been more prepared to do it than I am right now.”
Graham also mocked Harrison’s anemic performance as “the worst return on investment in the history of America.”
It’s hard to argue with that assessment …
Harrison was supposed to be the Democrats’ best bet to upend Graham, who has repeatedly alienated broad swaths of his conservative base.
Enter Constitution party candidate Bill Bledsoe – who became a lightning rod during this contest as Harrison and his allies sought to drive conservative voters towards him and away from the incumbent.
Bledsoe dropped out of the race in October and endorsed Graham, but his name remained on the ballot – and Democrats did their best to convince conservatives to choose him instead of Graham.
As of this writing, Bledsoe had received only 27,617 votes – or 1.4 percent of ballots cast.
Just call this race another huge miss for mainstream media polling (which showed Graham narrowly ahead of Harrison) … and for the S.C. Democratic party, which believed it had an excellent opportunity to oust a vulnerable incumbent.
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