The Spectacle Blog

Can Conservatives Force Lindsey Graham Into a Runoff Tonight?

By on 6.10.14 | 6:02PM

The most-watched primary in the country tonight will be held in South Carolina as Republican incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham takes on six primary opponents. Graham, unpopular with many conservatives and grassroots activists across the country, is being blasted from the right for his votes and seemingly out-of-touch statements.

The question isn't whether Lindsey Graham will win tonight—he's outpolling all his challengers by a significant margin—but whether he'll net the required 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff with the second-place candidate. Many state and local papers reported that back in May, several of the candidates signed a pledge to support whomever Graham faced in the runoff if one occurred. This could cause serious headaches for Graham.

"It’s probably split odds if Graham makes it over 50%," South Carolina blogger and activist Bruce Carroll of Carolina Conservatives United emailed The American Spectator. "I think it’s possible he will fall short, but more likely he will get over.” According to Real Clear Politics, Graham is sitting around 47 percent once all the polls are averaged. Carroll, who resigned from the now-defunct GOProud to himself consider a run against Graham, also predicted that if a runoff was to occur, “The runoff challengers would be either SC State Sen. Lee Bright or Nancy Mace.”

Carroll criticized Graham's voting record, saying Graham “[v]otes on the big issues with Establishment types including Reid and Pelosi.” When asked for specifics, Carroll wrote, “He voted to confirm Sotomayor, Kagan, and Holder." He also attacked Graham for throwing Rand Paul under the bus after his filibuster over the Obama administration's use of drones. 

Polls in South Carolina close tonight at 7 p.m. ET.

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