- The Washington Times - Monday, August 17, 2020

The Cook Political Report said Monday that Sen. Lindsey Graham’s reelection bid in South Carolina is facing a more serious threat than previously anticipated.

The election analysts at the Cook Political Report shifted the Senate race in South Carolina from its “likely Republican” column to its “lean Republican” column on account of momentum it said that Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison has gained.

“While there are still large hurdles that remain for Harrison to become the first Democrat elected to the Senate from South Carolina since 1998, it’s clear this race is becoming more competitive, and Graham faces an incredibly strong challenge,” wrote Jessica Taylor, Cook Political Report senators and governors editor. “In the races in our Likely Republican column, this is also the one some national Republicans view as the more competitive. We are moving South Carolina from Likely to Lean Republican.”

Ms. Taylor pointed to Mr. Harrison as having pulled nearly even with Mr. Graham in fundraising and polling that showed Mr. Harrison ahead with independent voters by 10 percentage points as reasoning for the Cook Political Report’s view of the race as more hotly contested.

The Cook Political Report said recent racial injustice protests ought to give “further motivation” for Mr. Harrison, an African American man, to turn out Black voters.

“Were Harrison to upset Graham, South Carolina — the first state to secede from the Union in 1860 — would become the first state to have two Black senators serving at the same time, joining Republican Sen. Tim Scott,” Ms. Taylor wrote.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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