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Six More Years for Senator Lindsey Graham Despite Unprecedented Challenge

Sen. Lindsey Graham celebrates after being elected for a fourth term on November 3, 2020, at the Pastides Alumni Center at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio
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Long-time Republican Senator Lindsey Graham celebrates his victory at the Pastides Alumni Center at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.

Following his toughest political fight yet, long-time Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told supporters at a watch party in Columbia Tuesday night the victory was an answer to a lot of prayers.  He says he's grateful to have secured a fourth term in the U.S. Senate and he's never wanted the job more.

The race against 44-year-old Democrat Jaime Harrison drew national attention as the Orangeburg attorney shattered fundraising records by amassing more than $100 million dollars.  He became the first U.S. Senate candidate to do so.  Graham, meantime, raised more than $75 million.  The race was the state's most expensive ever.

65 -year-old Graham repeatedly said during his campaign the money raised by Harrison came from supporters outside the state who hate him because of his close ties with the president.  He told the crowd at the Pastides Alumni Center at the University of South Carolina he hopes those who watched the race from afar got the message.

"Here's the message I got," Senator Graham said. "People like what I'm doing and I'm going to keep doing it."

Harrison spent much of his war chest on political ads with several criticizing the incumbent senator of flip flopping on issues, like the recent appointment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.   The House Judiciary chairman poked fun at the money spent.

"You wasted a lot of money," he said. "It was the worst return on an investment in the history of U.S. politics."

Polls for the candidates had been tight and were still neck in neck election night. But Senator Graham easily won the reliably red state President Trump swept as well.