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New DSCC Poll Results Find Jaime Harrison Leading Vulnerable Senator Lindsey Graham By 1 Point in South Carolina Senate Race

South Carolina Voters Are Mixed On Graham But View Harrison Positively, With Graham Losing Independents By Double Digits

As first reported by National Journal today, a recent poll conducted by GBAO for the DSCC confirms South Carolina is a toss-up race that Democrats can win, with Jaime Harrison leading by 1 point. Like all other recent public and private polls, this survey shows the race is a virtual tie where Harrison holds significant advantages over longtime Senator Lindsey Graham — including a double digit lead with independents.

“South Carolina isn’t just in play, it’s a seat Democrats can flip in November,” said DSCC spokesperson Stewart Boss. “Jaime Harrison has built a juggernaut campaign and our polling confirms why Senator Graham and Washington Republicans are in a full-blown panic about losing this race.”

Cook Political Report shifted the South Carolina Senate race rating to Toss-Up yesterday, as Republicans “have privately voiced frustrations that Graham’s campaign didn’t take the challenge from Harrison…seriously enough from the get-go.” Last week, Mitch McConnell’s super PAC was forced to start dumping $10 million into South Carolina to prop up the increasingly vulnerable incumbent. While Senator Graham has become an almost constant fixture on Fox News “begging for money” with desperate pleas for help, Harrison’s campaign raised more in August than Graham did during all of Q2. In September, the DSCC announced a seven-figure coordinated investment in Harrison’s campaign to bolster spending on TV ads as well as polling, field organizing and data tools, and other resources.

Key findings from the poll:

  • The race for the U.S. Senate seat from South Carolina is a virtual tie between Jaime Harrison and Senator Lindsey Graham.
  • Harrison leads by one point in the initial three-way vote (48% to 47%). Harrison consolidates more Democratic voters (+97 margin) than Graham does Republican voters (+81) and is winning independents by 12 points.
  • Voters view Harrison positively, while they are mixed on Graham. Harrison holds a favorability ratio of 51% favorable to 39% unfavorable, with 33% who are very favorable and 25% who are very unfavorable. Voters are more mixed on Graham, giving him a 49% favorable to 47% unfavorable rating, but his detractors are more ardent than his fans, with 25% who are very favorable and 37% who are very unfavorable.
  • The most effective attacks against Graham focus on him taking millions in contributions from Wall Street and insurance companies, and then voting to cut Medicare, undermine Social Security, impose an age tax on older South Carolinians, and gut protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
  • South Carolina leans Republican in partisanship, but the presidential race is much closer. Republicans hold a 10-point advantage over Democrats in self-identified partisanship (11-point advantage with leaners), but Trump leads Biden by only 5 points (44% to 49%), a much narrower race compared to Trump’s 14-point win in 2016.

National Journal: First in Hotline: DSCC Internal Poll Shows Harrison Leading Graham, 48%-47%

An internal poll for the DSCC conducted by GBAO Strategies and shared exclusively with Hotline (Sept. 24-28; 800 LVs; +/-3.5%) found DNC Associate Chair Jaime Harrison (D) leading Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), 48%-47%, with Constitution Party candidate Bill Bledsoe bringing in 3%.

Bledsoe dropped out of the race and endorsed Graham since the poll was conducted. However, he left the race too late for his name to be taken off the ballot.

The poll also found Trump leading Biden, 49%-44%.

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