But Harrison’s race is also gaining attention for other reasons. His opponent is Lindsay Graham, a close Donald Trump aide and vocal cheerleader for president. In conservative South Carolina, Graham had to be certain to retain his seat, especially against a nationally underrepresented Black Democrat, when racist-protest protests roared in the US.
But 2020 is anything but a normal election year. Not only has Harrison set records to raise new funds, but his turnout has put him in unexpected controversy in a state that no one saw as unsafe for Republicans. This in itself could help Democrats achieve a victory in the Republican-controlled Senate that was seen even a few years ago and fundamentally changed the direction of American politics.
Harrison’s candidacy is proving historic and has gained major national attention. If he defeats Graham, South Carolina will become the first state to have two sitting African American senators. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina is one of the few African American senators in the Chamber and the only Black Republican. Other states have been represented by African Americans, but never. Since its founding in 1789, the US Senate has 1,974 members – only 10 have been black.
South Carolina has emerged surprisingly, as one of the best opportunities Democrats should get the three or four seats needed to take control of the Senate. Although the White House has an intense interest in the battle to control the Senate, that will also heavily impact the size of the next presidential race.
If Trump were to win the presidency, but Republicans lose control of the Senate, it would severely limit legislation that he could pass. Likewise, if Biden were to win the White House, but Democrats failed to win control of the Senate, it would mean that most of the new presidential legislative program would be dead when it arrived in Washington DC.
As Molly Reynolds of Brookings, a DC-based think tank, recently stated, “The presidential race has captured much of the recent election-related headlines. But a set of major Senate races will have significant consequences for former Vice President Joe Biden’s ability to govern if he defeats President Donald Trump. ”
It is not long ago that the Democrats’ chances of winning under the control of the Senate were somewhat clear. But the shifting dynamics of the 2020 race have put the Senate into play.
The influx of campaign funds eclipsing Republicans in South Carolina has also been shown elsewhere. A diverse list of states like Maine, Montana, Colorado, Iowa and even reliably Red Kansas find themselves with healthy war chests in the last few weeks before the November 3 election.
The 44-year-old South Carolina Democrat has been in the Democratic circle for years. But it did not start that way. Harrison was born when his mother was 15 years old. His father was his mother’s high school boyfriend and his picture was out since childhood. His grandparents played a big role in raising him. Harrison grew up poor in Orangeburg, a city in the thousands, and graduated from Yale University with a scholarship and Georgetown University’s law school. Harrison was a teacher who served as president of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Jim Clyburn, an aide to the South Carolina Congress, and then as a lobbyist.
Harrison’s association with Clyb is a boon in South Carolina. Clyb is the most influential African American Democrat in Congress and his support was an important point in helping to revive Joe Biden’s presidential campaign during the Democratic primaries. Clybourne has shown cautious optimism about Harrison’s opportunities.
“I think things are breaking in his favor. If we are working in South Carolina, we get this kind of turnout, ”Polbico said in an interview.
At first, the 2020 South Carolina Senate race seemed like a long shot for Democrats. Republicans have controlled both Senate seats for 15 years in the state. But Graham and Democrats now cause strong hostility to the senator during Trump’s confirmation hearings during his defense with Trump and for others, along with Senator John McCain of Arizona, as well as Supreme Court Justice Brett Kwanuagh. Huh. Graham is also a friend of Trump’s golf.
“I think the reason we have here is mainly twofold. One, the Democrats are just giddy to control the Senate and create hurdles to power,” said South Carolina Republican strategist Walter Whotsell, who is a super PAC backin Are helping
Whotsell said that Democrats “hate Lindsay Graham for what he did to Kavanaugh. They despise this man. They want vengeance. They want revenge. And you add these two things and this one Fireworks are like smoking in a stand. It’s exploding, isn’t it? ”
In an interview with the Guardian Harrison, Graham’s seat is one that was occupied by some of the most vocal separatists in American history. This would be a dramatic contrast to an African American who inherited it.
“The seat I am dying for is a seat that has its own history. It is the seat of John C. Calhoun, of Strom Thormond, a man named Ben Tillman, who spoke of advocating for black people on the US Senate. ”
With his most recent fundraising, Harrison will also show what a Democratic campaign can do in South Carolina Like this A huge amount of money. Harrison said his campaign planned to use the funds to flood the zone in an effort to win seats for Democrats.
Most recent elections in the Senate race show a low-single-digit difference.
Harrison and Graham. A New York Times / Siena College poll of races published on Thursday found Graham leading Harrison by six percentage points.
Harrison’s prospect in South Carolina now rests on whether enough Republicans decide not to vote for Graham, either don’t vote at all, or support former Constitution Party candidate Bill Bledos, a The conservative whose name would still appear from the ballots, even though he was outed and endorsed Graham.
Harrison said Democrats are changing the type of nomination of candidates due to their party’s success in competing in traditionally conservative states.
“We are really competing. We are putting people who are not just Republican-lite, but people who can reflect and inspire and activate the party’s base, but appeal to the state’s independent and liberal Republicans. Its part, ”Harrison said.
Harrison continued: “But I think part of the anchor we have is that the Democratic parties in the South have not been properly resurrected, so only candidates like me and Stacy Abrams and Beto O’Rourke do the same thing. Not to do what the candidates normally do, but we have to do more party functions as well[s] Too. I am very proud that my time as the President of the party has been spent over the years in the reconstruction and revival of the party. But does not take into account years of lack of proper rehab. So you have to do all this. ”
Demographic changes have also occurred, Harrison said, pointing to African Americans moving the “industrial Midwest” to the south. White, college-educated retirees are also relocating to urban centers in the state, which are strongly Democratic.
“White, college-educated retired,” Harrison said. “They are roaming places like Greenville and Charleston, South Carolina. And bringing a lot of liberal politics at the same time. So it is giving us the ability to compete. ”
When asked what he thought of the possibility of South Carolina becoming the first state with two sitting senators, Harrison said, “It’s fair.”
He said, “The progress that has been made in this country is about showing it and a lot of progress has been made.” I’m saying in the field – it’s about closing the book in the old south and writing a new book on the new south, “Harrison said.
He went on to underline that vision. “One that is bold and inclusive and diverse. it is reasonable. When you think about the history of this nation, the first black senators came from the south. So why wouldn’t it be the first state to bring two African American senators from the south? ” he said. “It means a lot to me. I feel good that we are going to be able to pull it off and make history. ”