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Harrison says campaign had to spend record $57M haul 'to get this thing to toss-up status'

Harrison says campaign had to spend record $57M haul 'to get this thing to toss-up status'
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South Carolina Senate hopeful Jaime HarrisonJaime HarrisonDemocrats announce initial M investment ahead of midterms Santorum dismisses influence of Native American culture on US life DNC taps veteran campaign hands for communications staff MORE (D) said in a new interview that his campaign's record-breaking spending spree was responsible for moving his bid to unseat Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell safe in power, despite Trump's wrath Lindsey Graham: GOP can't 'move forward without President Trump' House to advance appropriations bills in June, July MORE (R) to "toss-up status."

Speaking with The Associated Press on Thursday, Harrison pointed to his campaign's historic spending, which totaled $60 million during the third quarter of 2020, as necessary to "bridge the gap" between him and Graham in polls in the GOP-leaning state. Harrison's campaign drew in roughly $57 million during 2020's third quarter, a record for a South Carolina Senate candidate.

“Yes, we raised $57 million, but we spent $60 million,” Harrison told the news service. “But that is what we had to do in order to get this thing to toss-up status, in order to bridge the gap.”

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Fundraising emails for Harrison's campaign have warned in recent days that he risks being outspent if donations do not continue at current levels.

"Too many pundits don’t understand what we are up against and have said that Senate campaigns like ours don’t need to keep fundraising. But the fact is that unless our fundraising surges in the final 12 days, we will not be able to match Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP braces for wild week with momentous vote GOP divided over expected Cheney ouster Sunday shows - White House COVID-19 response coordinator says US is 'turning the corner' MORE, jeopardizing our path to victory," read an email from Harrison's campaign manager, Zack Carroll, on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "super PAC has raised $92 million, and now he and Graham are already spending an enormous chunk of that to try to stop Jaime’s momentum," it continues.

A New York Times-Siena College poll of likely voters in the South Carolina Senate race conducted earlier this month found Harrison within striking distance of Graham but trailing him by single digits, 46 percent to 40 percent. The race is rated a "toss-up" by the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election analysis organization.