COLUMBIA, SC – Senator Lindsey Graham and her Democratic challenger will meet in their first face-to-face meeting, amid a record-breaking fundraiser and a debate over the Supreme Court nomination meaning Graham will spend much of the remaining campaign in Washington .
On Saturday, Graham and Jaime Harrison argue in Columbia in their first of three scheduled meetings. Two more debates are scheduled for late October, though Washington policy may throw a wrench into that agenda as Graham – chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee – gets angry not only about her re-election, but the candidate as well. at the high court of President Donald Trump, Amy Coney. Barrett, through the Senate.
With Trump promising quick confirmation, Graham said hearings will begin on October 1
Leading a trial that will include days of televised hearings, Graham will be in the national spotlight in what is sure to be a controversial confirmation trial, a position he said could benefit his political situation. Referencing his ardent defense of former Trump candidate Brett Kavanaugh during the 2018 confirmation hearings, Graham said at a South Carolina event last month that “the lightning struck again” with the opportunity of the president to appoint another judge, adding that he would “lead the prosecution” to ensure Barrett’s confirmation.
“This is my job, and I think I’m doing what the people of South Carolina want me to do about it,” Graham said.
After a committee member, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, said he tested positive for the coronavirus, Graham said Friday he had been tested “for an abundance of caution” and that his results had come back negative.
Harrison’s campaign told The Associated Press it also tested negative on Friday.
Harrison, associate chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said he believes Graham’s obligations to Washington could work to his advantage while in South Carolina, having the state to himself for most of the remaining weeks of the campaign.
“We’re going to have the opportunity to really have a conversation with people here in South Carolina while he’s out doing what he likes to do, which is in the spotlight,” Harrison said in a recent interview with AP. “I love the opportunity to have the space to myself.”
Graham and Harrison’s first debate also comes as campaigns boast of raising more than $ 30 million each for the entire race, and two recent polls show the candidates in a stalemate. Two consecutive Quinnipiac University polls have marked candidates with corresponding support among likely voters. On Thursday, Constitution Party candidate Bill Bledsoe – whose name was not included in the polls – announced that he was lending his support to Graham, though it is unclear how much that could boost Graham, as his name will still be in the cards.
Harrison was able to use the polls to leverage even more money, saying he made $ 2 million in the two days following a Quinnipiac poll in mid-September. Lindsey Must Go, a political action committee supporting Harrison, is among the outside groups pumping money into the race, launching an advertising campaign on Friday with a 2016 quote from Trump calling Graham “one of the dumbest human beings I’ve ever seen. “.
Trump led South Carolina in double digits over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Republicans control both legislative houses, all offices across the state, and most of the seats in the state’s Congress. South Carolina is assumed to be safe in its re-election column, and Trump has announced no plans to stop there for himself – or for Graham, who is expressing confidence in his chances of re-election.
“Here’s what I want to say to all liberals who talk about South Carolina: they’re going to kick your ass,” he said at an election event in Myrtle Beach Friday.