The South Carolina US senator that used work with the Democrats is gone….
Replaced by a staunch Donald Trump supplicant ….
It works so far for Lindsey Graham in the Red State of South Carolina where Joe Biden locked up the Democratic Presidential lead and never lost it afterwards…
With a popular black Democrat running against the US Senator?
Could South Carolina end up with two black US senators for opposing parties?
“The Kavanaugh hearing was a turning point in this area,” said Marcia Walker, 70, a county resident. “He stood up for what we felt was right. And that was the kind of representation we need, not the wishy-washy stuff.”
“What happened to Lindsey Graham?” is a favorite question of political observers, but it is not much of a mystery. His transitionfrom an outspoken critic of Mr. Trump during the 2016 campaign to one of his staunchest allies in the Senate mimics the changes in the mainstream Republican Party, which has married itself to the president and his message after some initial resistance.
The benefits of that decision are evident in Horry County, a region in the northeast corner of the state that includes Myrtle Beach, where Republicans who were once skeptical of Mr. Graham now embrace him fully.
But the potential risks of his shift were evident in 2018, when Democrats won over enough college-educated white voters and disaffected Republicans to elect Representative Joe Cunningham in South Carolina’s First District, Charleston’s ripple in the national “blue wave” of that year’s midterm elections.
Many of those voters participated in the Democratic presidential primary this past February. In South Carolina, the Democratic primary is typically associated with black voters, but this year white voters surged to an estimated 50 percent of the electorate. They are critical to the hopes of Jaime Harrison, the former state Democratic Party chair who is seeking to beat Mr. Graham. And with the conclusion of South Carolina’s Senate primaries on Tuesday night, Mr. Harrison and Mr. Graham are now set to face off in November.
“As my Grandma always told me, ‘Jaime, do what you can do and control what you control,’” Mr. Harrison said in an interview. “And that’s mobilize the vote on our side and appeal to people who are moderate Republicans and independents.”
Yet even as Mr. Graham faces a determined and well-financed challenger, his strategy may pay off.
In ruby-red South Carolina, he has stuck close to the Republican president, who is likely to win the state in the general election. At the event in Conway, Mr. Graham announced that Mr. Trump had just called him, drawing reverent gasps and cheers from the audience.
Privately, some Democratic officials admit that while Mr. Graham’s conservative turn may be off-putting in some parts of South Carolina, it’s smart politics in a statewide race.
Early public polling indicates that Mr. Harrison still has an uphill climb, and Mr. Graham has a slight advantage. Internal polling from the state G.O.P. showed that Mr. Graham had become South Carolina’s most popular official among Republican voters there. He used to rank among the least popular.
“He started with a strong base in Horry County, but it’s that relationship with President Trump,”….
top image….Travis Dove/NY Times