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US Election 2020: Lindsey Graham ties with opponent in polls

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a golf partner and loyal defender of President Donald Trump, finds himself tied with his Democratic challenger in a new poll in his state.

Graham and Democrat Jaime Harrison are tied at 44 per cent in the latest Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. It has 9 per cent of respondents undecided in the race.

The result comes as Trump leads Democrat Joe Biden 47 to 42 in the state in the same poll.

‘He has been a firebrand advocate for national defense and a leader of his party for 17 years — but has Lindsey Graham’s allegiance to the president put him in jeopardy?’ asked poll analyst Tim Malloy. ‘The numbers suggest his tenure on the Hill is in trouble.’ 

The poll had Graham with an under water approval rating: 41 per cent favorable compared to 45 per cent unfavorable. The less-known Harrison had a 38 per cent favorable rating compared to 24 per cent who had an unfavorable view. 

In a race where Trump will be at the top of the ballot, 40 per cent said Graham is too supportive of the president, 39 who said it was about right, and 10 per cent saying Graham is not supportive enough. 

 The Cook Political Report rates the race as likely Republican.

Graham has golfed regularly with the president both at Trump’s Virginia course, while also traveling with him and visiting him at Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach.

Graham served as a vocal defender of the president’s during impeachment, and is currently overseeing a Judiciary Committee probe of alleged misconduct in the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation of ties between the Trump campaign and Russians.

Graham famously called Trump ‘race-baiting, xenophobic’ and a ‘jackass’ during the 2016 campaign, where Trump would ridicule Graham and read out his cell phone number during a speech.

But the two men formed an alliance and Graham has provided frequent advice, occasionally rebuking Trump when he thinks he has taken the wrong tack.

Graham has celebrated the president’s golf skills, even tweeting after a round on Trump’s Virginia course in 2017: ‘ President Trump shot a 73 in windy and wet conditions!’

Although Graham is favored for reelection, he faces a strong challenger in Harrison. 

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