Lincoln Project Drops Scathing Video of Lindsey Graham as Polls Show GOP Senator Trailing in South Carolina

A newly released advertisement by the Lincoln Project criticizing Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was posted on social media Friday.

The clip takes aim at Graham's association to the rising national debt, as polls show him trailing in South Carolina.

What happened to Lindsay Graham?

He said he was a fiscal conservative, but he’s one of the biggest spenders in congress.

— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 23, 2020

"What happened to Lindsay Graham?" the Lincoln Project narrator says at the beginning of the video. "He said he was a fiscal conservative, but he's one of the biggest spenders in Congress. Under Lindsey, the national debt is through the roof. What is Lindsey thinking?"

"In tough times, we need to hold the line on spending and Lindsay won't," the narrator continues.

Under the current Trump administration, the national debt has increased nearly $7 trillion, according to data compiled by Statista. In January 2017, the debt stood at about $19.95 trillion. As of August 2020, it was estimated to stand at about $26.73 trillion—an increase of about $6.78 trillion, Statista noted.

Senate Judiciary Committee Votes On Barrett Supreme Court Nomination WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 22: Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) makes a statement after voting in the Judiciary Committee to move the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court out of committee and on to the Senate for a full vote on October 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. Judge Amy Coney Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away in September. The Lincoln Project posted a video criticizing Graham's association to the rising national debt on Friday. Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images/Getty

In a commentary published by CNBC in 2015, Graham said the U.S.'s biggest domestic challenge is the nation's growing debt.

"With the coming retirement of 80 million baby boomers, our debt problem is set to become a debt crisis." he wrote. "In less than 20 years, we will need every penny of projected tax revenues just to pay for major entitlement programs and interest on the debt."

"The simple fact is that spending cuts alone cannot eliminate our deficit and drive down our debt," Graham continued. "Without changes to our entitlement programs, balanced budgets aren't achievable."

In response to the opposition to a 2019 budget bill, Graham supported his stance on entitlement programs by tweeting: "Our debt is driven by entitlements and mandatory spending — not discretionary spending."

Graham's office didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

The Lincoln Project's new video then shifts to address Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison.

"Jamie Harrison will reel in spending and end corporate giveaways in D.C. He'll fight for balanced budgets," the narrator says in the clip.

in a January press release, Harrison said: "Lindsey Graham has left South Carolinians to shoulder the burden of our nation's debt. While supporting deductions for millionaire corporate executives, Sen. Graham voted against key middle and working-class tax credits essential for thousands of South Carolinians. His only concern is pleasing his wealthy donors, not the South Carolinians he was elected to represent."

Harrison's campaign didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment regarding his plan for national debt relief.

Harrison has taken a two-point lead over Graham, according to a new poll conducted by Morning Consult. It found 47 percent of South Carolina respondents saying they'd vote for Harrison, while 45 percent sided with Graham.

Morning Consult surveyed an approximate sample size of 926 likely voters in the state from October 11 to October 20 and reported a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Although Harrison's lead is within the poll's margin of error, other polls have shown a close race between the two candidates, with a slight lead for Harrison.

A study conducted by Data for Progress found the two rivals receiving similar support, with Harrison leading by one point. About 47 percent of respondents said they'd vote for Harrison if the election were held today, while 46 percent backed Graham. The study surveyed 801 likely voters in South Carolina from October 8 to October 11, and reported a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Another poll conducted by GBAO Strategies and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign found a similar one-point lead for Graham's challenger: 48 percent of those surveyed said they'd vote for Harrison, compared to 47 percent who chose Graham. Approximately 800 likely voters in South Carolina were surveyed in this poll from September 24 to September 28, and the poll reported a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.