Republican Support of Lindsey Graham at Only 45%

It looks like South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham could be in trouble this election season. He received only 45 percent of potential Republican support in a poll by Winthrop University.

Thirty-five percent were undecided, and Graham’s potential challengers each received single-digit support.

But, this race is still too early to call.

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While U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s level of support is 45 percent, Winthrop University Poll Director Scott Huffmon noted Graham is not in “real trouble” simply because his share is below the 50 percent run-off threshold. The vast majority of undecided could be distributed to the other candidates and, assuming Graham gets some share, it could easily be enough to put him over 50 percent, the political science professor noted.

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However, Huffmon said, the fact that S.C.’s senior senator does not have significantly higher than the threshold means this race is not “completely safe” for him, either.

According to the poll, 73% approve of Sen. Tim Scott’s performance.

One of his challengers, Lee Bright, released a statement, saying that Graham’s support is in steady decline.

“We’ve believed since entering the race that a run-off was inevitable,” said Lee Bright, the upstate Senator who has emerged as the top challenger to Graham according to all of the polls. “The conventional wisdom in Washington might not have agreed with us, but we’ve been confident since day one. Lindsey Graham’s polling has consistently declined and is now well below 50 percent. That decline is based on his performance over the last 18 years, and there’s nothing he can do in the next few months to put lipstick on that pig of a record.”

Bright received 8.5 percent in the voting poll. Bright’s support increases by almost 62% when looking at Tea Party approving likely voters, as opposed to all likely voters. Huffmon said this is clearly a place where support for Bright, and opposition to Graham, can be mined.

The Winthrop University poll was conducted in the field from Feb. 16-23, 2014.

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