October 30, 2020
South Carolina Senate Race Update: Lindsey Graham Not Getting Help From Donald Trump As Race Remains Tight

As Sen. Lindsey Graham prepares for one of the most difficult races of his political career, observers have noted the conspicuous absence of a potentially powerful ally on the campaign trail -- Donald Trump.

Graham is set to face off against Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison in a hotly contested U.S. Senate race in South Carolina, with polls showing the pair deadlocked in the final days. As The Daily Beast wrote, Graham does not appear to be getting much help from the Republican Party's top member.

The report noted the senator has turned from a vocal critic of Trump to one of his staunchest allies, often invoking their relationship while on the campaign trail. But Trump has not returned the favor, making no appearances to support Graham's bid for re-election.

The senator did receive some help from the White House as the race nears its final days, but it was Mike Pence who stumped for him. The report added Trump isn't expected to make any visits to the Palmetto State in the remaining days, either.

"On one level, Trump's absence from South Carolina may seem unusual," The Daily Beast reported. "Graham not only votes with Trump but golfs with Trump, and he has been perhaps his most visible defender in the Senate, where he's frequently asked by reporters for special insights into the president's various plans and moods. And the president has traveled across the country to stump for Senate candidates who are far less close to him than Graham."

The report went on to note that Trump himself is locked in a tight race with Democratic challenger Joe Biden, leading him to spend the majority of his time in battleground states while ignoring more reliably red states like South Carolina. With Biden polling close in more traditional GOP strongholds like Georgia and Texas, the president has been forced to spend time in both states, so there is even less time for him to hit the campaign trail for allies like Graham.

Jaime Harrison speaks at an event.
Getty Images | Sean Rayford

Graham's race has attracted some national attention, with many on the left aiming to help unseat him for his vocal support of Trump and his role in pushing the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, a sharp reversal from 2016 when he said that Republicans should not push forward a nominee for Barack Obama in the final months before an election.

Harrison has seen a strong fundraising boost, smashing records for a Senate candidate and attracting support from a number of national figures.