Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) won reelection handily on Tuesday night, 57 percent to 42 percent. He far outperformed the polls, which showed him merely 3 points ahead. Graham’s challenger, Jamie Harrison, shattered fundraising records, raising $57 million in her bid to defeat the senator. Graham mocked pollsters and liberal donors in his victory speech.
“I’ve had two calls already, one from President Trump, he’s gonna win. He’s gonna win,” Graham said to cheers and applause.
“So all the pollsters out there, you have no idea what you’re doing. And to all the liberals in California and New York, you wasted a lot of money. This is the worst return on investment in the history of American politics,” he added, to another cheer.
Lindsey Graham after winning:
"To all of the pollsters out there, you have no idea what you are doing. And to all of the liberals in California and New York, you wasted a lot of money. This is the worst return on investment in the history of American politics." pic.twitter.com/PBHBYDsCGB
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) November 4, 2020
President Donald Trump is performing well. He won Florida, Ohio, and Iowa, and he is leading in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. He is behind in Arizona, but he has far outperformed the polls in critical states. The polls narrowed in the lead-up to the election, but some of these results are just stunning.
So… Trump may not need Pennsylvania. @DecisionDeskHQ has Trump at 201 electoral votes. If he wins Mont (3), Wisconsin (10), Michigan (16), Alabama (9), Georgia (16), and North Carolina (15), he's at 270 and he has won the election, without Nevada or Pennsylvania. #Election2020 pic.twitter.com/9WbtoBeOSD
— Tyler O'Neil (@Tyler2ONeil) November 4, 2020
Graham’s attack on liberal donors hit the mark even more soundly. Many Democrats warn that money in politics means that donors can buy elections, but history does not bear that out. Hillary Clinton outspent Donald Trump and still lost. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg flushed $500 million into his presidential bid and failed badly, winning only American Samoa in the Democratic primary.
Pollsters and donors do indeed deserve a healthy amount of razzing after Graham’s victory.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.