"I've been all over the state lately and people are, they're thrilled and delighted that Sen. Graham has taken such a lead role on Benghazi," state party chairman Chad Connelly said.


Graham as been one of the most outspoken critics of the administration's response in the hours and days following the attack, vowing to block the potential appointment of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be secretary of State because of her reaction to the incident. He called the deadly assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya a "major national security failure."

Graham is up for reelection in 2014 and is expected to face a primary challenge from the right because he voted to confirm both of President Obama's Supreme Court nominees and supported the Wall Street bailout.

Connelly acknowledged Graham had received some criticism in local Republican circles for his previous positions but said that Graham as been a "shining rock star in foreign policy of late," an effort that is helping boost his profile among conservatives.

His effort with respect to Benghazi "is improving his conservative Republican credentials here," he said.

"His name is on people's minds and they're talking great about him. If they had a problem with him, I would say it's been greatly reduced," Connelly said.