Campaign

Graham challenger Harrison raises record-shattering $13.9 million for SC Senate bid

Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison’s campaign to unseat Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) in South Carolina pulled in nearly $14 million in the second quarter of the year, setting a statewide fundraising record in the process.

Harrison’s campaign said on Tuesday that it had raised more than $13.9 million in the period covering April through June, nearly doubling its first-quarter fundraising haul of $7.4 million and marking the second consecutive quarter in which Harrison has set a quarterly record in South Carolina.

“Our campaign’s record-breaking fundraising reflects the grassroots energy behind Jaime’s movement, and will allow this campaign to make the investments necessary to send Lindsey home for good,” Guy King, a spokesperson for Harrison’s campaign, said in a statement. 

Graham hasn’t yet disclosed his full second-quarter fundraising numbers and isn’t required to do so until July 15. But the most recent filings available, which cover the pre-primary period in South Carolina spanning April 1 to May 20, showed Harrison out-raising Graham by about $600,000. 

Harrison also raised more than Graham in the first quarter of 2020, bringing in about $7.4 million to Graham’s $5.7 million. 

Still, Graham has raised more than Harrison across the entire cycle to date and has consistently led his Democratic challenger in cash reserves. His latest filing with the Federal Election Commission showed him with nearly $14 million in cash on hand as of May 20. At the time, Harrison reported about $6.7 million in cash on-hand. 

Harrison’s campaign did not report an updated cash-on-hand figure when it announced its second-quarter fundraising haul on Tuesday. 

Nevertheless, Harrison’s fundraising announcement adds to the wave of cash that has washed over Democratic campaigns in recent months. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pulled in a staggering $141 million in June, out-raising President Trump by $10 million. 

At the same time, Democratic Senate challengers in North Carolina and Montana have reported record-setting fundraising hauls in the second quarter of 2020. In Maine, Democratic state House Speaker Sara Gideon more than doubled Sen. Susan Collins’s (R) pre-primary fundraising haul. 

Harrison still faces an uphill battle if he hopes to unseat Graham in November. Graham has a well-known political brand in the state and in recent years has tied himself closely to Trump, who carried South Carolina in the 2016 presidential election by 14 points. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, currently rates the South Carolina Senate race as “likely” Republican.

But Democrats argue that the state could become more competitive later this year, especially if Trump’s reelection prospects continue to spiral.

Tags 2020 elections Donald Trump Fundraising Jaime Harrison Joe Biden Lindsey Graham South Carolina Senate race Susan Collins

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