Poll Shows Lindsey Graham in ‘Fight of His Political Life’

In this image from video, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, March 24, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

(CN) — While President Donald Trump clings to his slight lead over Joe Biden in South Carolina, a new Quinnipiac University poll on Wednesday shows incumbent Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is neck-and-neck with his Democratic rival Jaime Harrison in the U.S. Senate race.

“Outspent and labeled by critics as an apologist for President Trump, Lindsey Graham is facing the fight of his political life,” said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy in a statement. 

Unchanged from Quinnipiac’s survey from Sept. 16, the results on Wednesday show Graham and Harrison tied, with both having garnered 48% support among likely voters.

Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been an outspoken ally of Trump and his policies. He won his last Senate race by a 10-point margin.

In a match-up, the favorability ratings of these two candidates show a larger difference. 

“Likely voters give Harrison a positive favorability rating, 48-35 percent, while Graham’s favorability rating is negative, 51-43 percent,” the poll states.

Only 4% of respondents said they may change their mind. 

“Sen. Graham has NEVER been challenged like this in his political career. We are here to fight until the very end. Thirty-four days to make history, y’all,” Harrison, the former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman, said in a tweet responding to news of the poll on Wednesday. 

Malloy noted in his statement that there has not been a Democrat elected to the Senate from South Carolina since 1998.

Accentuating this pattern, the poll shows 49% of South Carolina voters want to see Republicans in control of the Senate while 44% are hoping for Democratic control. 

Whatever residents decide in November, it could be crucial in determining which party controls the Senate going forward. 

Meanwhile, in the state that opted for the Republican candidate during every presidential election since 1980, Trump and Biden are locked in a dead heat.

Just two weeks ago, the pollsters found that Trump held a 6-point lead over the former vice president among likely voters in South Carolina. 

Wednesday’s poll, however, shows that Trump is now leading in the Palmetto State by a much smaller margin of 48% to Biden’s 47%. 

Forty-nine percent of likely voters polled say they have a favorable view of Biden compared to 46% responding that he is unfavorable. When it comes to favorability in the state, Trump has a 48-48% split.

The results of the poll were compiled before the hectic presidential debate on Tuesday night and included a look into how likely voters in the state feel about certain issues. 

According to the pollsters, for example, 49% of likely voters say that the winner of the election should be the one to choose a Supreme Court replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

Forty-seven percent would rather give Trump the go-ahead to do it now, even though slightly more respondents said the incumbent would better handle the Supreme Court than would Biden.

The poll surveyed 1,123 likely South Carolina voters from Sept. 23 to Sept. 27 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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