Polling indicates South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is in the fight of his political life.
RealClearPolitics, an election prognosticator, moved Graham’s race against former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison on Tuesday to its “toss up” column, though the incumbent has an average lead of 8 percentage points on his challenger.
The forecaster’s change follows a Quinnipiac University poll last week that found Graham and Harrison each with 44% support. That’s a dramatic shift considering Graham, a 17-year senator, won his third term in 2014 by 15 points.
RealClearPolitics’s categorization of the Graham-Harrison contest isn’t reflected by other observers. Cook Political Report still describes the South Carolina seat as being “likely” Republican, as do Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Inside Elections.
In last week’s Quinnipiac University poll, 9% of respondents told researchers they were undecided, and 13% said they could still change their minds. Harrison’s low name recognition — 37% had never heard of him — suggests the former Podesta Group lobbyist has the opportunity to expand his reservoir of support.
“He has been a firebrand advocate for national defense and a leader of his party for 17 years. But has Lindsey Graham’s allegiance to the president put him in jeopardy? The numbers suggest his tenure on the Hill is in trouble,” said Tim Malloy, a polling analyst for Quinnipiac University.
Author: Naomi Lim
Source: Washington Examiner: Election forecaster declares Lindsey Graham Senate race a toss-up