The New Republic has a new piece out about the upcoming U.S. Senate race between U.S. Senator “Leningrad Lindsey” Graham (R. SC) and Jaime Harrison (D. SC), who has proven to be one hell of a fundraiser and formidable opponent. The piece discusses the dynamics of the upcoming race and what it would take to win. Here’s a taste:
In press dispatches and news analysis pieces, the stately old Southern order is evoked with scenes of dappled sunlight under Spanish moss–draped oak trees. With the mood thus set, curious readers are then reminded of South Carolina’s greatest legacy in our political culture: its role in starting the U.S. Civil War.
But these clichés have grown hoary. Harrison’s campaign manager, Carroll, said he sees a shift happening in South Carolina, thanks in part to what has been called the reverse Great Migration of black families returning to the South. Major cities and metropolitan areas are growing in population at breakneck speed. Recent Census data found the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area was the second fastest growing in the nation between 2010 and 2018, coming second only to The Villages retirement community in Florida.
“I think a lot of people mistakenly look at South Carolina as being like an Alabama or a Mississippi, but you look at demographics and it’s just not the case,” Carroll said. “The trends that are happening along these Southeast coastal states are pretty in line with what Virginia was 10 to 15 years ago.”
That shift could have repercussions in Graham’s bid, and any other statewide race in South Carolina—provided, that is, that voter ID and other suppression tactics introduced by the GOP state legislature don’t outweigh the state’s recent influx of new and nonwhite voters. And in part because of the stakes of the pending race—together with Graham’s recent makeover as a loyal Trump surrogate—it seems clear that, rather than serving as a sleepy backwater steeped in long-standing folkways of racial deference and exploitation, the conservative bastion of South Carolina is something much closer to a bellwether state.
Give it a full read when you can. Democrats are eager to get rid of Graham and Harrison has been getting help from big-name Democrats:
In a statement to the Associated Press, Sen. Kamala Harris on Monday (March 16) labeled Harrison an “advocate for the people” whose senatorial campaign she’s now supporting.
“He believes every South Carolinian deserves the opportunity to not just get by, but to thrive and succeed,” Harris said. “I am confident he will continue to fight for South Carolinians in the Senate. I am proud to endorse Jaime Harrison for U.S. Senate.”
Harrison is now welcoming Harris’ official endorsement, calling the California senator “a relentless fighter for working people.” He is also promising to work toward equitable health care and infrastructural improvements if elected to the U.S. Senate.
Harrison is currently an associate chairman with the Democratic National Committee and former chairman of South Carolina’s Democratic Party. He is also backed by Sen. Cory Booker, another 2020 presidential hopeful and the mentee of Sen. Jim Clyburn, who he has worked under for many years in South Carolina. Clyburn’s endorsement helped secure a victory for former Vice President Joe Biden in South Carolina and with him guiding Harrison, it could likely do the same.
Harrison has posted record fundraising figures in his senatorial race, which he claims would take $10 million to win. Since raising $3.5 million in the fourth quarter of last year, Harrison reportedly had $4.6 million cash on hand to start 2020.
In addition to Harris, Harrison has received coveted endorsements from House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, with whom he worked with for many years as a congressional aide, and whom he still considers a political mentor. According to AP, the campaign also says he’s received backing from Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries.
Let’s keep up the momentum and finally give Graham the boot. Click here to donate and get involved with Harrison’s campaign.