Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) defeated tens of millions of dollars in attack ads – and a Democratic Party motivated to destroy it – with a win over challenger Jaime Harrison in the Carolina Senate race South Tuesday.
The AP called the race for Graham just before 10 p.m. Tuesday night.
The result represents a triumph for Graham in one of the most watched and contested Senate races this year, a contest that has threatened to end his three-decade career in Congress. National Republicans also breathe a huge sigh of relief, as a Harrison victory would have marked a remarkable Democratic encroachment on traditionally Republican territory.
Harrison, a former Democratic Party official and a rising star in its ranks, made a bet that he could harness grassroots and anti-Graham energy to make a household name and galvanize the participation of black voters in the ‘State. He entered the race from a distance and finished it with most outside tipsters giving him a solid chance of victory.
In the last two weeks of the campaign, Harrison had raised $ 108 million for his candidacy – the highest amount ever raised by a candidate for the US Senate in any state in the history of the country. Graham has found himself a prime target of liberal donors after spending four years as a central figure in the tragedies of the Trump era, in which he went from being a harsh critic of candidate Trump to a staunch ally of the President Trump.
Notably, upon Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation in 2018, Graham’s outburst of outrage at Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee became a symbol of right-wing rage following allegations of sexual assault against the candidate for the time.
Never fully trusted the hardcore GOP base in his home state, Graham was able to solidify his support in South Carolina and tap into national pro-Trump conservative energy to dent Harrison’s enormous advantage in when it comes to resources – even if he had to look to somewhat shameless solicitations of dollars in Fox News interviews and in the halls of the US Senate.
Those calls were successful: by mid-October Graham had raised $ 68 million, far more than any other GOP Senate candidate this cycle. But by pushing Republicans to the brink of a red and reliable South Carolina, Harrison forced outside Senate GOP groups to spend big to defend Graham, preventing those dollars from going to other raffle races. .
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