Lindsey Graham Leads Jaime Harrison By 6 Points in South Carolina Senate Race, Poll Shows

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham reopened a lead over Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, with the incumbent Republican holding onto a a six point lead in a poll released Tuesday.

Graham is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee which began hearings this week for Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination. And although the longtime Republican senator has fallen behind Harrison in fundraising, he has managed to regain a polling lead after months of being neck-and-neck.

A new Morning Consult Political Intelligence tracking poll shows Graham leading his opponent with 48 percent of support versus Harrison's 42 percent. In recent months, Graham was either tied or slightly losing to Harrison in surveys of likely South Carolina voters.

Independent voters are split between the two candidates, with both pulling in 39 percent of support.

This latest poll shows Graham with his largest lead in nearly a year, prior to which Harrison had far less name recognition. Harrison skyrocketed into national prominence last December after a Post and Courier poll showed him within two points of the longtime incumbent.

Harrison's campaign last week announced it collected a record-breaking $57 million in fundraising from July through September. Harrison's fundraising total now stands at $86 million, an all-time record in South Carolina politics. The previous quarterly fundraising record in U.S. politics belonged to Beto O'Rourke, who pulled in more than $38 million in the third quarter of 2018. But despite the fundraising prowess, the Texas Democratic candidate ultimately lost a narrow election to incumbent Republican Ted Cruz.

Graham has appeared on Fox News at least twice in recent weeks urging supporters to donate to his campaign, warning that the Senate budget chairman will become Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a progressive Independent, should Republicans lose the majority.

A September poll of South Carolina voters conducted by Morning Consult showed Harrison with a slight edge, 46 to 45 percent, over Graham. Graham holds a sizable lead over Harrison, who is Black, among white voters, 58 to 32 percent. But Harrison holds a massive 81 percent to 11 percent lead among Black voters in South Carolina.

The latest Morning Consult poll was conducted from October 2-11 among 903 likely South Carolina voters.

Harrison's bid to prevent Graham's fourth term in office has honed in on Graham's increasingly cozy relationship with President Donald Trump and a grassroots outreach to middle-class and Black voters across the Southern state. Harrison's campaign has also painted Graham as a 25-year Washington insider who has lost touch with the state's voters.

Like many races across the country, the partisan splits between Harrison and Graham could not be any clearer. In regards to the Affordable Care Act, Harrison remarked in March that Graham "has proven he doesn't care about protecting health care." While Graham gave a forecast of upcoming Supreme Court arguments which could ultimately dismantle the health law known as Obamacare.

"From my point of view, Obamacare has been a disaster for the state of South Carolina." Graham said. "All of you over there want to impose Obamacare on South Carolina. We don't want it. We want something better. We want something different. You know, what we want in South Carolina? South Carolina-care, not Obamacare."

Morning Consult's September polling found Trump holds the support of 93 percent of GOP voters in South Carolina. Graham had the support of 84 percent of Republican voters, which was among the lowest percentages of incumbent senators facing re-election on November 3.

Newsweek reached out to the Harrison and Graham campaigns for reaction Tuesday afternoon but did not receive replies before publication.

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) holds a news conference to discuss the summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation at the U.S. Capitol March 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. U.S. Attorney General William Barr sent a letter to Graham and other Congressional leaders informing them that Mueller did not find evidence of direct collusion between Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia to influence the presidential election. CHIP SOMODEVILLA / Staff/Getty Images