Graham chides pollsters, Democratic donors following win

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRepublicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden Let's give thanks to Republican defenders of democracy Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts MORE (R-S.C.) late Tuesday ripped pollsters who predicted that he would be ousted from his seat as well as Democratic donors, while thanking President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE's base for helping him win reelection.  

"I've had two calls already — one from President Trump. He's going to win. He's going to win," Graham said. "To all the pollsters out there, you have no idea what you're doing. And to all the liberals in California and New York, you're wasting a whole lot of money." 

Graham called donations to his Democratic challenger, Jamie Harrison, "the worst return on investment in the history of American politics." 


Graham defeated Harrison in a tightly contested Senate race, which this year became the most expensive in the history of the upper chamber. 

Harrison had reportedly raised more than $100 million for his campaign, while Graham lagged behind and in the final weeks before the election, appeared almost nightly on conservative news programs to plead with viewers to donate to his campaign. 

 “I'm being killed financially," Graham said in late September. "This money is because they hate my guts.”


Most pollsters predicted Graham was among the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection this fall, and the senator himself predicted Democrats had a decent chance at flipping his seat. 

"Democrats generally look at people of a disposition like [Supreme Court] Justice [Sonia] Sotomayor and [Elena] Kagan," Graham said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last month. "Now, y'all have a good chance of winning the White House. I don't know where the polls are going to be.”

Since ending his Republican presidential primary campaign in 2015, Graham has attached himself politically to Trump, praising the president's trade deals with China and aiding his efforts in the Senate. 

Graham took heavy criticism from Democrats for proceeding with the nomination of now-Justice Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettCardinal Dolan hails Supreme Court decision on churches, COVID-19 Cuomo blames new conservative majority for high court's COVID-19 decision Supreme Court blocks New York coronavirus restrictions on houses of worship MORE, a conservative judge whom Trump nominated for the Supreme Court just weeks before Election Day. 

During hearings in the Judiciary Committee in 2018, Graham delivered a fiery defense of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh after the Trump Supreme Court nominee was accused of sexual misconduct by a former high school classmate. 

Trump was declared the winner in South Carolina on Tuesday and Graham was asked if his performance for Trump, specifically as it relates to Barrett's nomination, pushed him over the finish line on Tuesday. 

“How do you say yes? Yes,” Graham responded. “I feel good about it.”