Harrison-Graham Senate race considered ‘a toss-up’ by noted analyst

Dubbed 'a jump ball,' one GOP strategist told The Cook Political Report Jaime Harrison is 'peaking.'

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The contentious race for a coveted South Carolina U.S. Senate has now been graded a “toss-up” between longtime Senator Lindsey Graham and his competitor, Jaime Harrison. 

Some polls are still ranking the race as “Likely Republican.” But Harrison and Graham are essentially tied, according to Real Clear Politics

The race between Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (left) and his Democratic challenger in
South Carolina, Jaime Harrison (right), has now been graded a “toss-up.”
(Photos by Drew Angerer/Getty Images and Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

South Carolina is a Republican stronghold. The state currently boasts one Black senator, Tim Scott in a state that is nearly 30% African American. 

The Cook Political Report announced yesterday that the tight race has been designated a “toss-up” from a previous “leans Republican” ranking.

Read More: Plexiglass separates Jaime Harrison and Lindsey Graham during debate

“It’s a jump ball at this point,” one unnamed South Carolina Republican strategist told the site’s Jessica Taylor. “Jaime is peaking at exactly the right time, and he’s got a deluge of money. [Harrison] is blocking every pass there is from Republicans.”

Harrison, the 44-year-old former aide to Democratic South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, has been outraising Graham and flooding the market with television ads. 

Read More: Lindsey Graham photographed with leader of white nationalist group Proud Boys

The first Black chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Harrison was the first to participate in a major party election surrounded by plexiglass amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to The Cook Political Report, “once longtime Graham voters … now see that he’s changed on health care and how Harrison’s ‘values’ now more closely reflect their values. Harrison has made this race about character, and in other Democratic ads, they turn the tables and paint Graham as part of the ‘swamp,’ and that seems to be working.”

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Graham appeared on Fox News at the beginning of October, saying that he was being “killed financially” by Harrison. His plea for donations was later turned into a spoof by The Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans who are currently advocating for a Joe Biden presidency. 

Voters in South Carolina have appeared to turned against Graham, who has gone from one of President Donald Trump’s major detractors to one of his most ardent, vocal supporters. 

Thursday morning, as the news of the election’s status changed, The Lincoln Project tweeted, “it couldn’t have happened to a better guy.” 

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