How Lindsey Graham keeps beating them all

Graham avoids serious primary challenge: Mention Lindsey Graham’s name at a tea party rally, and the boos rain down. But despite angering some conservatives with his support for matters ranging from comprehensive immigration reform to President Obama’s nominees for the Supreme Court, the South Carolina Republican senator appears in position to cruise to a primary victory Tuesday against six challengers. A Clemson University Palmetto Poll released last week showed Graham with 49 percent support among likely GOP primary voters, just shy of the 50 percent mark he would need to avoid a runoff. None of Graham’s opponents surpassed single digits in the survey. “If I had to bet the farm, I would have to bet that Graham is going to get through unscathed,” Clemson University political scientist David Woodard, a veteran GOP consultant and director of the Palmetto Poll told the Morning Line. Graham has benefitted from a significant cash advantage, having raised more than $6 million. He was sitting on nearly $4 million late last month while none of his challengers had more than $250,000 left in the bank.

Opposition ‘deep but not wide’: Still, nine different local Republican Party groups have censured Graham in recent years. The list includes Charleston County, considered a Graham stronghold, and Greenville County, which outlined 29 actions or votes by the senator that it deemed “fundamentally inconsistent” with the principles of the South Carolina GOP. But observers say Graham’s detractors and primary opponents have struggled to gain traction.