Top Republican Senator could face primary challenge

By 
 July 21, 2023

U.S. Sen. Linsey Graham (R-SC) could face a primary challenge, the Washington Examiner reports

The challenge could come from U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC).

Austin Livingston, a spokesman for Norman, indicated as much in a statement that he provided to the Examiner. 

Livingston said:

Rep. Norman is not ruling anything out but has made no decisions yet on future elections. He remains firmly committed to serving South Carolina's 5th District in the House and doing everything within his ability to restore fiscal sanity and conservative values to Washington.

Background

The Examiner provides some details about what has been going on behind the scenes.

Per the outlet:

After Graham was booed onstage during a large rally for former President Donald Trump, Norman was approached by several groups and people about taking him on in the 2026 Republican primary.

The Examiner, here, is referring to the 2024 campaign event that Trump held in Graham's home state of California on Saturday, July 1, 2023. It would be an understatement to say that the event did not go well for Graham.

Before Trump go on stage, Graham said a few words of his own, and the crowd responded with boos. Graham attempted to appease the crowd, but it was to no avail. The booing continued during Graham's speech and even as Graham left the stage.

Trump, during his speech, attempted to get the crowd to lighten up on Graham, even by telling a few jokes at Graham's expense. But, the crowd was not having it. When Trump referenced Graham later on in his speech, the crowd, once again, booed.

What is the problem with Graham?

Trump summed the problem up fairly well, saying that Graham is "half and half," meaning that he sides with the Democrats about as often as he sides with the Republicans.

The war in Ukraine is an easy example. Graham, unlike many Congressional Republicans, has been all in favor of continuing to send financial and military assistance to Ukraine, despite America's growing problems at home.

It is not exactly clear where Graham currently stands in the polls. A Winthrop University poll from May 2022 found that more than half of South Carolina voters disapprove of him. Yet, more than half of the state's Republican voters did approve of him.

It is unclear whether these figures have changed since then.

But, there are many Americans, no doubt, who would like to see Graham swapped out for more of an America First Republican - one who not only talks the talk, as Graham does, but who also walks the walk, as Graham often does not.

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