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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 HarrisonNevada governor signs law making state first presidential primary DNC chair on Manchin and voting rights: 'Do what Americans want' The Memo: Biden says democracies work; the US is not helping his case MORE in his bid to unseat Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate confirms Garland's successor to appeals court Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema GOP senators applaud Biden for global vaccine donation plans 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 BidenFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Saudis picked up drugs in Cairo used to kill Khashoggi: report Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting 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 TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations 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 ClintonNSA leaker Reality Winner released from federal prison Monica Lewinsky signs production deal with 20th TV Police investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide MORE.  

In 1976, former President Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterTime will tell: Kamala Harris's presidential prospects Queen Elizabeth will need to call upon her charm for Biden's visit Is Biden the new FDR or LBJ? History says no MORE was the last Democratic presidential nominee to win South Carolina.