Could Lindsey Graham lose?

RealClearPolitics rates the race a “tossup”

For the first time in years, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has a “credible” who’s “an exceptionally well-funded, politically connected, centrist Democrat who is forcing election observers to wonder if South Carolina might, improbably, be in play.”

Jaime Harrison, a graduate of Yale and Georgetown Law, chairs South Carolina’s Democratic Party and is associate chair of the Democratic National Committee. Having raised almost as much money as Graham has, he’s put Graham on the defensive.

In South Carolina, as elsewhere, “college-educated moderates and self-described independents have turned on Trump,” whose lead over Biden in that reliably-red state has halved since February, according to Five Thirty Eight, “and their anger is threatening the reelection prospects of one of the president’s most prominent surrogates.” Two respected polls show the Senate race “tied.”

Graham is even in trouble with conservatives. A 51-year-old software consultant for whom George Floyd’s death created “a conflict between his political and moral beliefs” says he wants the elected officials who represent him “to be angry about this situation” and is disturbed that they’re not. “It makes me embarrassed to be a Republican,” he says. He’s “planning to vote Democrat for the first time” because he thinks “Lindsey Graham, to a large degree, has been a talking head for Trump,” and “I have a problem with that.”

Similarly, a Charleston attorney who contributed to Graham’s campaigns in the past said, “I’m not gonna vote for any Republican who doesn’t disassociate himself or herself from the Trump political school.” And Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), a key figure in the state’s Democratic politics and an important Biden backer, says “there are a lot of Republican women that I’ve talked to who tell me that they are embarrassed by some of what’s been going on recently. They are organizing for Jaime Harrison.”

Read story here and here.

“Embarrassed” is a word more than a few Republicans use to describe their party these days, even in GOP strongholds. Make no mistake, defeating Graham will be an uphill battle; but while it was previously unthinkable, it has become plausible. And if one of Trump’s staunchest defenders, from one of the reddest states, tumbles then how many other GOP bowling pins will get knocked over, too?

Photos: Sen. Graham (top), challenger Harrison (right)

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