WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The South Carolina Democrat challenging Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham nearly doubled his fundraising this spring, his campaign said on Tuesday, in the latest sign of the mounting campaign hurdles facing Republicans in the U.S. Senate.
Jaime Harrison, a former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman, raised $13.9 million during the second quarter of 2020, vs. $7.3 million in the first quarter, which the campaign described as a state fundraising record.
Harrison faces an uphill climb in trying to defeat Graham in the Nov. 3 election. But his ability to raise large sums against the long-time Republican incumbent and ally of President Donald Trump is yet another sign that Republicans are playing defense as they seek to preserve their Senate majority.
Trump’s sagging poll numbers and Democratic animosity against his leading allies in Congress have deepened this year’s challenge for Senate Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Harrison campaign did not provide further details about its second-quarter fundraising.
Despite the Democrat’s success with donors, Graham still had more than twice as much financial firepower heading into the final months of the campaign.
The Republican had $13.9 million in cash on hand, vs. $6.7 million for the Democrat, as of May 20, according to the latest comparable documents available on the Federal Election Commission website.
A Graham campaign spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell)