Ten months out from his primary election against three different Tea Party candidates, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has dropped to below 50 percent in the polls, meaning he is particularly vulnerable to a runoff strategy conservatives have employed against him.
Graham received just 42 percent of support from likely South Carolina GOP voters in an Aug. 25 poll of 500 likely GOP voters conducted by Landmark Communications and Rosetta Stone Communications, UnitedLiberty.org reports.
“These numbers should be of concern to the Graham campaign. The senator fails to reach 50% of the vote against any of his opponents,” Rosetta Stone Communications president John Garst said. “Graham does not break 40% among voters who think of themselves as evangelistic conservatives, and that group makes up 58% of the primary electorate.”
Lnadmark Communications president Mark Rountree added that Graham “has developed a serious problem with male voters and conservative voters in particular.”
“His support among those demographic groups is weak,” Rountree said. “But worse for Senator Graham is that he currently does not even win an outright majority in a potential runoff primary election, despite the fact that his opponents are not even well known to the general public.”
As Breitbart News has reported, Graham’s three primary challengers–State Sen. Lee Bright, public relations executive and first female graduate of The Citadel Nancy Mace, and pro-life activist and businessman Richard Cash–aim to take Graham to a runoff after the primary next June. If Graham receives less than 50 percent of the vote in the primary, then the second-place candidate will go head-to-head with him in a runoff election a couple weeks later.
Currently, according to the new poll, that candidate who comes in second to Graham is Bright, who polls at 13 percent to Graham’s 42 percent. Mace comes in a close second to Bright with 10 percent, and Cash is not far behind with 7 percent. In total, this early in the race, 30 percent of South Carolina GOP voters oppose Graham. Bright and Mace got into the race within the past month, while Cash entered in April.
In reaction to the news of the poll, Bright told Breitbart News that the “years of promoting liberal policies are finally catching up with him.”
“Lindsey Graham’s record of promoting cap and trade, banker bailouts, liberal Supreme Court justices, and amnesty have driven a wedge between him and conservative voters in South Carolina, in spite of his relentless courtship of the mainstream media,” Bright said. “His ridiculous stance on Syria has especially alerted people to how out of touch Graham is with reality, leaving 60% of voters looking for an alternative.”
He added, “I’m proud to be the front-runner to replace Graham in this recent poll. I was the last candidate to enter this race and momentum is already on our side.”
Dustin Stockton of Western Representation PAC, who hosted an event on Monday in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with each of Graham’s three primary challengers, told Breitbart News it is becoming clear that South Carolinians disapprove of Graham’s performance in the U.S. Senate.
“After two successful trips to South Carolina talking to people about what Lindsey Graham stands for we are excited to see him slipping well below the 50% threshold that would force him into a runoff,” Stockton said in an email. “These numbers are credit to the local organizers in South Carolina who overwhelmingly reject his failed crony capitalism and Republican version of big government. We are committed to maintaining our presence in South Carolina assisting those great people who deserve better representation than Lindsey.”