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    Are reports of the death of a viable challenge to Lindsey Graham grossly exaggerated?

    Are reports of the death of a viable challenge to Lindsey Graham grossly exaggerated?

    A runoff is the wild card.

    There hasn’t been a lot of polling in the South Carolina Republican Senate primary, but what polling there is shows Lindsay Graham ahead by 30%+ against potential challengers.

    But it may still be a challenge for Graham to get the 50% he needs in the primary to avoid a runoff, and generating a runoff in which all the anti-Graham vote could coalesce, has been the strategy all along.

    Politico has essentially called challenges to Graham dead on arrival, How Lindsey Graham outmaneuvered the tea party:

    Sen. Lindsey Graham recognized the threat years before it had a chance to form — and knew immediately what he had to do….

    Graham’s deft maneuvering shows why he’s become the dominant political figure in this deeply red state and is skating to another six years even as he’s angered the base on immigration and other hot-button issues. Far from pandering to the party’s tea party wing in order to get reelected, he’s challenging it head-on: Graham warns that the GOP is caught in a “death spiral” with minorities, says it needs to get real about climate change and defends his move to open debate on gun control legislation after a school massacre.

    His legwork to protect his seat could serve as a model for other endangered incumbents looking to fend off more conservative challengers….

    Even as he cruises in the polls, the senator has blanketed the state with more than $1 million worth of ads promoting his work. He faces several lesser-known, underfunded candidates — including state Sen. Lee Bright, pastor Det Bowers, businessman Richard Cash, attorney Bill Connor, attorney Benjamin Dunn and Nancy Mace, a consultant and the first female graduate from The Citadel military college — in the June 10 primary.

    They’re trying to keep Graham under 50 percent and trigger a runoff, which would give Republican outside groups that have sat out the race a chance to rally behind a single candidate and potentially hurt Graham.

    But his opponents have not demonstrated much viability. One of them even credited Graham with ensuring a lackluster GOP field….

    Soon after helping his close friend John McCain’s presidential bid in 2008, as the tea party began to show its strength in 2010, Graham began preparing for what an aide called “Armageddon.” He enlisted an army of paid staff and volunteers — including some 5,200 precinct captains — to help build six regional offices throughout the state.

    And he amassed a staggering war chest, aimed partly at scaring off prospective opponents. Many donors have been reluctant to give money to anyone but Graham for fear they will be blacklisted by the senior senator, his adversaries said. And some big-dollar contributors are starting to put money behind a Graham-allied super PAC created by a former state party chairman, Katon Dawson.

    Is it really over before it really has begun?

    I long ago ceased trying to predict South Carolina politics.  But it seems to me that the world could change quickly if Graham gets into a runoff.

    (Featured Image Source: YouTube)


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    Aarradin | April 23, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Since when is Politico a source for anything??

    If you want a hundred articles in a week slandering a Republican candidate, Politico is the place to go.

    Otherwise, why acknowledge they exist at all?

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Aarradin. | April 24, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Exactly. It’s like citing Media Matters, HuffPo, or the like. They might get the weather report and sports scores out without bias, but there it ends.

    scooterjay | April 24, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Estragon…..I take it you too are a resident of SC. What do you think of Nikki Haley’s “Independant Republican” challenger Tom Ervin?

    Quiet Professional | May 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    What we South Carolinians must understand is that Mr. Graham only speaks out on sensitive political issues when reelection time is around the corner in attempts to convince the people he is a responsible Conservative representative. Mr. Graham is one of those individuals who possess monetary funding through neutral individuals closely tied to the Democratic Party with no official party affiliations and who handles Graham steering him in the direction they want him to go. Case in point; Mr. Graham was seen and heard conferring with John Kerry (Democrat) where Graham ask Kerry to let him know what he could do to help with John Boehner.
    This is not stepping across the aisle to work jointly on national interest but to covertly damage his party’s agenda and provide the Democratic Party with advance warnings of their plans. Mr. Graham is one of those individuals who expect to make the U.S. Senate his career. Let me be the first to say, South Carolinians are not obligated to entrust this man with the future of South Carolina nor the nation. Who does Graham think he is to ignore the will of the people and continue to vote the way his Democratic handlers and he want to? His reelection campaign consists of many if not all known topics sanctioned by the Democrats which would not critically hurt them in upcoming elections, however, his political reelection campaign coverage makes him appear as though he’s totally conservative. Don’t be fooled!
    Mr. Graham has consorted with the Democratic Party on various key issues and is know by seasoned political followers to be a Republican Rhino, one who is Republican only by name without loyalty to his party. We must deny Mr. Graham’s bid for reelection overlooking the years he has spent in the Senate and open his seat to a more dedicated representative who will actually vote the way his constituents desire. It’s time Lindsey Graham discovered his current Senate seat is not guaranteed and when he ignores the people, the people will speak. “In a free and Republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude.” The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are…staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

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