Jaime Harrison has set an all-time fundraising record in his bid to unseat Sen. Lindsey Graham in South Carolina.
The Democratic challenger brought in $57 million in the third quarter this year, hitting an all-time record for a U.S. Senate candidate. As The Hill reported, Harrison easily beat the previous record of $38.1 million set by Texas candidate Beto O’Rourke in 2018. The report noted that Harrison had a total of 994,000 donors and an average donation size of $37.
His bid has attracted national attention as many Democrats have targeted Graham, who went from being a vocal critic of Donald Trump to one of his most vehement defenders. The Hill noted that the race was previously seen as a longshot for Democrats, as Graham has easily won reelection in past contests, and South Carolina has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in more than 20 years. However, recent polls have shown that the contest has grown close. The respected Cook Political Report recently moved the contest from “Lean Republican” to “Toss Up,” the report added.
The Harrison campaign has continued to take a more narrow focus, however, painting the race as being about the state’s voters. In announcing the record-breaking total, campaign spokesperson Guy King shifted attention to the Palmetto State.
“This campaign is making history, because we’re focused on restoring hope back to South Carolina,” King said in a statement.
Harrison has said that his ability to close the polling gap against his opponent has helped to give people hope of flipping the seat, which has contributed to the fundraising success.
“There’s a lot of momentum on the ground here and it’s so great and it’s so encouraging,” Harrison said, via The Hill. “When I first got into this race and people told me that I couldn’t do this, my whole statement to them is ‘Watch me,’ and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
The disparity in fundraising has attracted attention and led to some mockery of Graham’s efforts to close the gap. As The Inquisitr reported, the GOP senator took to Fox News to talk about his funding difficulties, asking for help in keeping up with his Democratic opponent. At the time, the Democratic donation site Act Blue had raised $150 million in just three days following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
That led to Harrison releasing an advertisement splicing footage of Graham asking for help from donors with clips from movies in which actors pleaded for help.