An early win in the night, President Donald Trump has won South Carolina as of 7 p.m., following the same path as the 2016 election and 40 years of straight Republican support in the state.
In 2016, Trump won with 55% of the vote.
Sen. Lindsey Graham also retained his Senate seat over Democrat Jaime Harrison, securing his fourth term in the U.S. Senate.
This comes after a close competition and South Carolina’s most expensive senate race. Although Harrison gathered record-breaking funds, the state’s support for President Trump remained strong, helping Graham get re-elected.
Democrat Jim Clyburn also won his reelection race for U.S. House seat in South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District.
Updated Nov. 3, 6:41 p.m.
Sen. Lindsey Graham is winning over Jaime Harrison. Although polls showed that both candidates were closely tied in South Carolina, voters are maintaining their support for Graham, with 54% of the votes counted going for the senator.
Updated Nov. 3, 5:17 p.m.
Over 13,000 votes in St. George, South Carolina will be delayed due to a printing error in the ballots. The error won’t affect any votes, according to the county’s election Commissioner Todd Billman.
Because of the error, the ballots cannot be scanned, so the ballots will be copied by election workers after the rest of the votes are counted. The new votes will be compared to the original ones.
The county’s complete results are expected by Friday, according to Billman.
In the Palmetto state, long-time Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham faces a significant challenge to his re-election bid from Democrat Jaime Harrison.
South Carolina has always been a reliably conservative state, but the contentious 2020 political environment and Graham’s staunch alliance with President Trump have created extensive interest in this race and shifted these dynamics.
Harrison, who is African-American in a state with a long history of Black voter disenfranchisement, has raised more than $57 million for his Senate campaign — more than any other candidate for the U.S. Senate in history.
Harris is a former chair of the state’s Black caucus and protege of South Carolina’s Democratic kingmaker Rep. James Clyburn. His campaign is focused on expanding access to affordable healthcare, economic reforms for the lower and middle classes and protecting seniors and social security.
Harris has attacked Graham for his repeated flip-flops on major issues and his sycophantic behavior towards President Trump. He has also repeatedly criticized Graham for his support of Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, his lackluster efforts on race relations, and his intent to dismantle the Affordable Care Act without a viable replacement.
As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, one of Lindsey Graham’s top priorities is to confirm conservative judges in lifetime appointments to the federal bench and the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, Graham is an ardent advocate for Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. On foreign policy matters, Graham has traditionally supported conservative positions including an expanded military and strong economic military alliances to protect and promote U.S. interests.
While the polls show the two candidates statistically tied, Graham has tried to solidify his conservative support leading up to Election Day in presiding over Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings for the U.S. Supreme Court. While this has helped Graham gain support among conservatives, his opponent has also gained traction from the news, challenging Graham’s comments during the hearing about returning to the “good old days of segregation.”
If Harrison is able to pull off a victory in a race that most have seen as a safe seat for Republicans, it will mark the first time in U.S. history in which two African-Americans will hold office in the U.S. Senate, joining Republican Sen. Tim Scott.