Tags: Donald Trump | Jeb Bush | Polls | Carson | GOP | Graham | Rubio

Sen. Graham's Exit Frees Up Cash, Support

Image: Sen. Graham's Exit Frees Up Cash, Support
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Tuesday, 22 Dec 2015 10:38 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The exit of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham from the Republican presidential race now frees up considerable money and additional support for other candidates in his home state’s crucial presidential primary Feb. 20.

That was the opinion of several South Carolina Republicans I spoke to hours after Graham made the not-so-unexpected announcement Monday that he was “suspending” his bid for the GOP nomination.


As former State Republican Chairman Van Hipp put it, “The scramble here is now on for Sen. Graham’s money people, who have so far been frozen on the sidelines.”

Like Sens. Wayne Morse, D-Ore., and Bob Smith, R-N.H., when they explored campaigns for the White House in 1960 and 2000 respectively, Graham had a strong personal following in his home state that could never be transferred to its presidential primary.

According to the Fox News poll of likely GOP primary voters conducted days before his announcement, Graham was running ninth in a field of 13 candidates with 2 percent of the vote.

The same survey showed a big lead for Donald Trump with 35 percent, followed by Dr. Ben Carson at 15 percent, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tied with 14 percent each.

Surprisingly in a state whose primary was pivotal to the nominations for president of his father in 1988 and brother in 2000, Jeb Bush was running fifth in the Fox poll with 5 percent of the vote.

The remaining contenders all had one or two per cent of the vote, according to the survey.

The “Trump Effect” is particularly noteworthy in South Carolina, as it is one of the few states in which the controversial contender has active support from established Republican figures.

The co-chairman of his campaign is former State Sen. John Russell, son of the late Democratic Gov. and Sen. Donald Russell, and Trump’s senior adviser in the state is Ed McMullen, veteran conservative activist and former president of the South Carolina Policy Council.

“I expect Sen. Rubio, Gov. Kasich, Gov. Bush, and Mrs. Fiorina will be the most immediate beneficiaries of Sen. Graham’s decision,” retired U.S. Court of Claims Judge John Napier, a longtime friend and backer of Graham’s, told me, “The other candidates already have a certain amount of traction with their supporters.


“At this point, I have not decided whom I will support.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.















 

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The exit of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham from the Republican presidential race now frees up considerable money and additional support for other candidates in his home state’s crucial presidential primary Feb. 20.
Carson, GOP, Graham, Rubio
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2015-38-22
Tuesday, 22 Dec 2015 10:38 AM
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