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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) holds only a small 2-point lead over likely Democratic opponent Jaime Harrison in a state Donald Trump carried by 14 points in 2016, according to a new poll released Friday.

According to a Change Research/Post and Courier poll, Graham holds a 47 percent to 45 percent lead over Harrison, with 9 percent of voters still undecided.

“Senator Lindsey Graham’s favorability is exceptionally low among Independent voters and in hypothetical general election match-ups,” the poll notes. “He looks extremely vulnerable against Democratic contender Jaime Harrison.”

Only 38 percent of South Carolina voters have a favorable view of Graham, with 53 percent viewing him unfavorably. His numbers are even lower among Independents, with a mere 28 percent viewing him favorably and 60 percent with unfavorable views.

“Senator, you’re in for the fight of your career,” Harrison tweeted Friday, linking to the poll. “This movement cannot be stopped!”

Graham remains one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in the Senate, even as the House impeachment proceedings against Trump move forward and evidence of Trump’s troubling behavior toward Ukraine piles up.

In September, Graham called the impeachment inquiry, then in its earliest stages, a “nothing burger,” and later defended Trump by claiming the administration was too “incoherent” to demand a quid pro quo from Ukraine.

Graham’s ardent defense of Trump stands in stark contrast with his previous comments about the former mogul. During the 2016 election, Graham called Trump a “kook,” adding “I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office.”

Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate. But with the 2020 election on the horizon, Democrats are eyeing seats belonging to vulnerable Republicans like Colorado’s Cory Gardner, Arizona’s Martha McSally, Maine’s Susan Collins, and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis as possible pick-up opportunities.

Republicans must also protect Senate seats in IowaGeorgia, and Texas. Democrats, meanwhile, will focus defensive efforts on maintaining an Alabama seat currently held by Sen. Doug Jones.

Harrison could ensure South Carolina becomes a Senate battleground state as well. In October, his campaign announced it had raised $2.1 million from July through September, the most ever raised in one quarter by a Democratic challenger in state history.

“Born and raised in South Carolina, Jaime has always put his community first: as an educator, a community leader, and a public servant,” Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) said in May when the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee endorsed Harrison, adding he would “bring a new kind of leadership to South Carolina.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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