It’s long been thought that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) would be able to withstand any sort of potential primary from a conservative challenger. But looks like that narrative could begin to shift as a new poll from Winthrop University shows Graham’s approval rating down significantly among Republicans in the state in just two months.
“U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is up for re-election in 2014, received a 44 percent approval rating among S.C. registered voters but his approval rating has dropped from 71.6 percent to 57.5 percent among Republicans and those independents who lean toward the GOP compared to the February poll,” noted the statement from Winthrop, which was made available by FITSNews. “This drop corresponds to the entry of two vocal challengers, and discussion of a third, into the primary race against him.”
The two candidates that have jumped in the race are State Sen. Lee Bright, who will run as a social and fiscal conservative, and Richard Cash, a social conservative who barely lost the Republican primary to now-Rep. Jeff Duncan in 2010. State Sen. Tom Davis, who is very much in the mold of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), had previously declined to run against Graham, but is now reconsidering. All of this highlights the problems that Graham has had with conservatives over the last few years.
Over the past couple months, Graham has done much to alienate conservatives in the Palmetto State. He came out strongly against Paul’s filibuster of CIA nominee John Brennan and refused to join a filibuster of new gun control measures in the Senate. Graham has had a terrible record on civil liberties, choosing to ignore constitutional protections, and seems to always be among the first to call for more intervention overseas.
Graham may still be favored, but it looks as though South Carolina Republicans are beginning to see that he is completely out-of-touch.