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Graham raises $1.05 million in past three months for presidential bid

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Graham raises $1.05 million in past three months for presidential bid

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham raised $1.05 million in the summer months toward his White House run, leaving him with $1.65 million cash on hand going forward.

The amount is not close to what some of the other leading GOP front-runners brought in during the three-month reporting period that ended Sept. 30.

For instance, retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, who has surged to second place behind Donald Trump in many of the early state polling, raised more than any of the other Republicans in the race, pulling in more than $20 million in 90 days.

Graham, R-S.C., still did better than some of the others at the bottom of the Republican tier. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal raised only $579,000 for the third quarter but spent $832,000. He was left with about $261,000 cash on hand to run his operation.

The financial figures come from campaign disclosure reports that had to be filed with the Federal Election Commission by late Thursday, which was the cutoff time for all the campaigns to do their accounting and report their donations to federal watchers.

A state-by-state breakdown of where Graham’s money comes from shows about 40 percent of his money during the period — about $410,000 — came from South Carolina donors. The next biggest donor state was from New York, where he collected about $133,585.

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Graham, R-S.C., has spent much of his recent travel time, including this week, concentrating on voters in New Hampshire where the bulk of his message has focused on foreign affairs, including dealing tough with Iran and a ground commitment of troops to take on the terror group ISIS.

The figures also show that Graham is far off the pace that he’d hoped to set as a budget for his White House bid. His campaign previously said he could run a competitive GOP primary race with between $15 million and $20 million set aside for the early states, while enjoying a home-state advantage when the pack moves south for the S.C. Republican presidential primary Feb. 20.

A CNN poll this week gave Graham a 5 percent level of support among Republicans in South Carolina, trailing front-runners Trump and Carson by double digits.

Graham campaign manager Christian Ferry issued a statement saying a more accurate indicator of success at this point of the campaign is cash on hand, making him competitive in the pack.

“Unlike others, we aren’t spending on huge staffs and we save every dime we can on travel costs,” he said. “We are frugal with your contributions and run a lean campaign operation. We have capable and experienced staff in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and keep the overhead low. As we get closer to the first Election Day, we continue to put money where it needs to be — into voter contact and ground organization, not extravagant travel and office space.”

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.

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