Jaime Harrison shatters Senate fundraising record for South Carolina race

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South Carolina Democrat Jaime Harrison raised a staggering $57 million in the third quarter of this year, shattering the previous record for a Senate candidate as he seeks to unseat GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The haul only increases Harrison’s massive financial advantage over Graham, who is seeking a fourth term in the Senate and facing the most competitive reelection race of his career.

Harrison’s total is nearly $20 million more than then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s previous record from the third quarter of 2018, when he brought in $38.1 million from July through September of that year for a Senate race in Texas. Harrison’s campaign said he received 1.5 million donations during the three-month period from 994,000 donors, with an average of just $37. His campaign did not share how much cash Harrison had on hand as of Sept. 30.

Graham has not yet released his third-quarter fundraising totals. He raised $8.4 million in the second quarter and had $15 million in the bank as of June 30. Graham has increasingly signaled that he’s in dire financial straits: Late last month, he went on Fox News twice in a single day and implored viewers to donate to his campaign, saying he was “getting overwhelmed.”

Harrison has massively outspent Graham in the race. The Democrat’s campaign spent $52 million on TV and digital advertising so far this year compared to $19 million for Graham, according to data from Advertising Analytics. Between now and Election Day, Harrison has more than $16 million reserved, while Graham has $4.8 million.

“While Lindsey Graham continues playing political games in Washington, Jaime Harrison is remaining laser-focused on the real issues impacting people here — like health care, broadband access, and Covid relief for businesses and families,” said Guy King, a spokesperson for Harrison’s campaign. “After 25 years in Washington, Lindsey Graham has changed into someone voters no longer recognize, and these resources will be instrumental in our efforts to send Lindsey home in November.”

Public and private polling has shown the race to be extremely competitive. A poll from Quinnipiac University late last month showed the race tied at 48 percent. An internal poll from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, conducted around the same time, showed Harrison narrowly ahead, 48 percent to 47 percent.

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