Graham holds 6-point lead in Senate race: poll

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump's biggest political obstacle is Trump The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden support, gas tax questions remain on infrastructure MORE (R-S.C.) leads Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison by 6 points, according to a Morning Consult poll released Tuesday.

Graham leads Harrison 48 percent to 42 percent in the poll, the first in several weeks not to show the race as a dead heat. The survey was conducted this month.

The South Carolina Republican has been a top target for Democrats, galvanized by his staunch support of President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE and his status as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a perch from which he vocally supported Trump's second Supreme Court pick, Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSupreme Court strikes down FHFA director's firing protection Student athletes or independent contractors? Supreme Court moves the goalposts on the NCAA Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda MORE, amid a bitter confirmation fight.


Graham is in the spotlight again as the Judiciary Committee holds confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump's nominee to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgOcasio-Cortez says Breyer should retire from Supreme Court Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema Juan Williams: Time for Justice Breyer to go MORE, and his lead in the poll suggests the fight over the Supreme Court seat may be mobilizing some GOP voters.

Previous Morning Consult polling in South Carolina conducted in mid-September, shortly before Ginsburg died, had Harrison and Graham essentially tied.

Harrison has smashed fundraising records in the race, bringing in $57 million in the final full quarter of his campaign. The number is an all-time single-quarter record for a Senate candidate, outflanking the $38 million then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) raised in the third quarter of his 2018 campaign challenging Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzNew Jersey governor tweaks Cruz on Cancun over moving truck quip Hirono tells Ted Cruz to stop 'mansplaining' Senate Republicans: Newly proposed ATF rules could pave way for national gun registry MORE (R-Texas).

Graham himself has invoked Harrison’s fundraising hauls in appeals to supporters, telling Fox News host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityPoll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Book claims Trump believed Democrats would replace Biden with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama in 2020 election 9 Republicans not named Trump who could run in 2024 MORE last month, “I’m getting overwhelmed. ... They’re killing me, money-wise.”

Last week, the nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report shifted its rating of the South Carolina race from “lean Republican” to “toss-up.”

“Many Republicans have privately voiced frustrations that Graham’s campaign didn’t take the challenge from Harrison — a charismatic 44-year-old African-American former state party chairman who tells a compelling story of growing up with a teen mother and being raised by his grandparents in impoverished Orangeburg — seriously enough from the get-go,” Jessica Taylor, the Senate and governors editor for The Cook Political Report, wrote in an analysis last week.

The poll surveyed 903 likely South Carolina voters Oct. 2-11. It has a 3-point margin of error.