Despite record-breaking fundraising from his opponent, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham won his bid for re-election on Tuesday.
As Fox News reported, Graham defeated challenger Jaime Harrison, a Democrat who raised a record $108 million in one of the most-watched Senate races in the country. The outlet called the race just over 55 percent for Graham to nearly 43 for Harrison.
Bill Bledsoe from the Consitution party eked out 1.4 percent of the vote, with 55 percent of the votes tallied.
For a while, it appeared that Harrison might win Graham’s seat, ending his three-decade career in the upper chamber. A win for Harrison would have also marked a major loss for the GOP as Democrats encroached on a traditionally conservative seat.
Harrison was a former Democratic party official and an aide to Rep. Jim Clyburn. He was an individual that many looked at as the future of the party. While his bid was always a long shot, for a time it appeared that he had a chance of defeating Graham.
Harrison’s fundraising marked the most ever raised by any candidate for the Senate in the entire history of the country. However, after repeated pleas on national television, Graham eventually managed to raise a similar amount.
According to PBS, Harrison attempted to paint Graham as someone aligned with President Donald Trump, and too willing to accommodate his leadership. However, Trump maintains strong support in South Carolina.
Originally, Graham criticized Trump, targeting him for his alleged prejudices, The Independent reported.
“He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot,” he said in 2015. “You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.”
“We have to reject this demagoguery, and if we don’t reject Donald Trump, we’ve lost the moral authority … to govern this great nation,” he said.
In order to win the Senate, Democrats need to gain three seats if Trump loses, or four seats if he wins his re-election bid.
Beyond the Harrison-Graham race, Democrats felt confident that they could defeat Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado, Sen. Martha McSally in Arizona, Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina, and Sen. Susan Collins in Maine.
In the final days of the race, there was some concern that Republican leaders, including Trump, weren’t lending their support to Graham to help him retain his seat, as The Inquisitr reported. Eventually, Vice President Mike Pence expressed support for the incumbent politician.
Harrison conceded the race on Tuesday evening.