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Graham falls far short of Harrison's huge haul, still raises record for Senate Republicans

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COLUMBIA — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham raised $28 million from July through September — an all-time record for Republican Senate candidates in a single fundraising quarter — but it still only represents less than half of Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison's massive $57 million haul over the same period.

That Graham could top all Senate GOP contenders and still fall so far short of his opponent underscores the unprecedented nature of Harrison's fundraising, which shattered the previous national record for a single quarter by almost $20 million.

Harrison has now raised $86 million total for the race, far exceeding Graham's $58 million.

Graham's campaign spokesman T.W. Arrighi said in a statement the Republican incumbent "is incredibly grateful for the tremendous support he has received" and the campaign "will have the resources we need to get our message out to voters."

"National Democrats will invest more than $100 million of out-of-state money to buy the race, but the voters of South Carolina know a liberal Democrat when they see one," Arrighi said.

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The high-profile race between Graham and Harrison is already by far the most expensive in South Carolina history with just under three weeks left to go. 

Fundraising disclosures do not need to be filed with federal election officials until Thursday night, at which point the source of Harrison and Graham's cash, what they are spending it on and how much they had left entering October will become more clear.

Polls have generally shown the race to be one of the most competitive statewide contests in many years in South Carolina, which has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in more than two decades.

Graham is at the forefront of confirmation hearings this week for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett in his role as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, proceedings that could bring even more attention to the South Carolina race.

Follow Jamie Lovegrove on Twitter @jslovegrove.

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