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Obama urges voters to back Graham challenger in South Carolina

Former President Obama urged South Carolina voters to throw their support behind Democratic candidate Jaime HarrisonJaime HarrisonNew Democratic Party chief announces top hires Trump's new PAC raised millions as he sought to overturn election results Tom Perez 'taking a look' at run for Maryland governor MORE in his bid to unseat Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Progressive support builds for expanding lower courts McConnell backs Garland for attorney general MORE (R-S.C.) in a campaign ad released Monday. 

“Hey, South Carolina. If you want a senator who will fight for criminal justice reform, lower college costs and make health care affordable, you’ve got to vote for my friend Jaime Harrison,” Obama said in the 30-second-long video tweeted by Harrison. 

“This year, you can vote early, or you can vote on Election Day, Nov. 3,” the former president continued. “Early voting is happening right now. Go to iwillvote.com to find your early vote location. Make your plan and vote for Jaime today.”

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Obama has issued similar calls for voters across the country to cast their ballots early in support of Democratic candidates, including in a Democratic National Committee ad released last week in which he argued that next month’s general election results are “going to be close.” 

He is also expected to hit the campaign trail in support of Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Senators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Overnight Defense: New Senate Armed Services chairman talks Pentagon policy nominee, Afghanistan, more | Biden reads report on Khashoggi killing | Austin stresses vaccine safety in new video MORE, his former vice president, in the final weeks before Election Day, including in Philadelphia on Wednesday. 

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Harrison poses a surprising threat to Graham in South Carolina, a deeply conservative state that has not elected a Democrat to the Senate in more than two decades. 

A New York Times-Siena College poll released last week placed Graham at a 6-percentage-point lead over Harrison, not far outside the poll's 4.5-percentage-point margin of error. 

Earlier this month, Harrison’s campaign reported that it had raised a record $57 million in the third quarter this year, and the Cook Political Report moved the Senate race from "lean Republican" to a "toss up." 

The Times-Siena College survey also polled likely voters on the presidential race, with President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE getting 49 percent support compared to 41 percent for Biden. Trump won the state by 14 points in 2016 against Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonShelby endorses Shalanda Young for OMB director should Biden pull Tanden's nomination Jennifer Palmieri: 'Ever since I was aware of politics, I wanted to be in politics' Cruz: Wife 'pretty pissed' about leaked Cancun texts MORE.  

In 1976, former President Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterThe progressive case for the Hyde Amendment COVID-19 pork or more shots? Decoding the logo for the Office of Former President Trump MORE was the last Democratic presidential nominee to win South Carolina.