Patterico's Pontifications


SC Polls: Lindsey Graham’s Support Evaporates

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 1:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Hot Air links a website I’m not familiar with that claims two new South Carolina polls show Senator Lindsey Graham’s support has tanked and may not be salvageable:

“Already consistently loathed by a solid third of GOP voters, Graham’s recent leftward bent – including his co-authoring of a controversial “Cap & Tax” proposal supported by President Barack Obama and liberal Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) – has him locked in a “terminal free fall,” according one prominent Republican consultant.

“A chunk of the GOP has always detested him, but in the last month a damn [sic] has broken,” said the consultant, who was granted anonymity to discuss the impact of two recent polls that were conducted in South Carolina (one allegedly by Graham’s own advisors). “More Republicans now oppose Sen. Graham than support him. Independents are also deserting him in huge numbers.”

I can hear the response now so I’ll save everyone the trouble: This is bad news for the GOP because it can’t afford to run off anyone, especially Republicans already in office. Maybe that’s true but it’s still good news in my book. Lindsey Graham won’t help Republicans return the GOP to the party of less government, lower taxes, abundant energy, and more jobs — beliefs that win elections.

Republicans don’t have to be dependable Party-line voters but they need to be dependable when it comes to policy. Lindsey Graham has voted with the GOP 90% of the time but his opposition came at crucial times — such as with cap and trade, the Gang of 14 (including the Haynes nomination discussed here, here, and here), immigration, and voting for Sotomayor despite being one of her harshest critics.

Graham is only dependable when it comes to Graham … or, as the Republican Party of Charleston, South Carolina, said when it voted to censure Graham last week, he has “weakened the Republican brand” in his continuing desire to “be relevant.”


PS – Lindsey Graham on how to win friends and influence people:

“The Ron Paul quarters of the GOP are buzzing about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) speech to this past weekend’s state party convention — a combative performance in which he took on conservative activists and Paul supporters. One heckler yelled out: “You’re a hypocrite!” Graham snapped back: “I’m a winner, pal!” When Paul supporters started to boo, Graham took them on:

“I am not a libertarian. If you are, you’re welcome to vote for me and build this party, but we’re not going to build this party around libertarian ideas.”

55 Responses to “SC Polls: Lindsey Graham’s Support Evaporates”

  1. Well, he should start huddling with Lieberman so that he can learn what he’ll need to do to win as an Indie in the General Election after losing the GOP Primary (or does SC allow defeated partisan primary candidates to run as non-partisans in the General, as does CT?).

    This couldn’t be happening to a nicer guy!

    AD - RtR/OS! (603f4e)

  2. It seems that calling yourself a winner is a politically dangerous move to make. If memory serves, Obama told the Republicans that he didn’t need to work with them because he won. No one knows how that will work out of him in 2010 or 2012, but it ain’t looking all that good right now.

    Scott (2ee4c9)

  3. When Lindsey Graham was stabbed in the back by Senate GOP Majority Leader Trent Lott during the Clinton impeachment process, he learned a bitter lesson. Shaken and disillusioned, the experience changed him from an idealistic reformer into a cynical professional politician. It kept him in office and elevated him to the Senate. Graham became a creature of expediency, a leader in the GOP and John McCain’s alter ego. He learned to play both sides of the political divide and to shortchange the voters when it counted.

    Now, it’s too late to go back to what he once was.

    ropelight (7a6598)

  4. Did Graham-nasty step in a pile of his own byproduct there, or what?

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  5. I am not now, nor will I ever be, a Libertarian. But Libertarians and Conservatives have at least one huge thing in common: a small, limited government. That Grahamnesty doesn’t understand that is very obvious.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  6. Government, IIRC, is the only teat he’s suckled at.

    AD - RtR/OS! (603f4e)

  7. My wife thinks Graham needs a sex change operation although we are in doubt which direction. He really has gotten arrogant; maybe through his contacts with McCain who has his share of arrogance.

    A lot of military guys who’ve come in contact with McC do not like him. My brother-in-law, when he was still in the Marine Corps, flew an F 18 into a civilian airport for a McCain appearance a few years ago. He then stood in a receiving line in his flight suit and McCain did not even look him in the eye.

    Graham is a colonel in the AF Reserve but as an JAG officer. I won’t mention the abbreviation for that position.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  8. Yes…yes…more marginalization…more extremism and irrelevance for the GOP. SC ain’t Iowa folks. It ain’t even North Carolina.

    Assclown Pumpkinheads (f0d390)

  9. The fallacy of having numbers of republicans in congress versus a real core of true small government is the belief with numbers alone the agenda can be passed or the leftist defeated. False on both counts.

    The democrats have shown the even with overwhelming numbers in both houses and the presidency unless you have true conviction support among your members you have really nothing. Why bother to emulate them tactically when it is obviously a losing strategy.

    Graham could vote 99% part line but the vote for cap and trades negates all of his other votes entirely. He is toast. He will lose to a primary challenger and then he can either give up or run as an independent, either way a loser. The moral here is a simple one, if you run on a set of principles better to stick to them. Eventually the cynicism wears on the voters, see Trent Lott as an abject example.

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  10. I am not now, nor will I ever be, a Conservative. But Libertarians and Conservatives have at least one huge thing in common: a small, limited government. That Grahamnesty doesn’t understand that is very obvious.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  11. Is it inconvenient to mention that Senator Graham was re-elected a year ago, which means his seat is not up until 2014?

    I don’t know who the President will be in 2014, let alone what Graham’s support level will be like then. I am glad others here seem so sure that they can predict 5 years into the future so accurately.

    Can they help me with my stock market picks as well?

    Dave N (c7afc5)

  12. Comment by ropelight — 11/15/2009 @ 2:46 pm

    That a piece of shit like Trent Lott could ever have been the Senate Majority Leader is the number one reason not to trust anyone just because of an R after their name.

    nk (df76d4)

  13. I’ll give Doofus 43 this much: He hung Lott out to dry, and it was a good thing.

    nk (df76d4)

  14. I really think we should give assclown a lot of serious consideration. You simply do not see such specimens every day.

    Graham has plenty of time to get religion but there is a limit to what people will accept when the country is teetering at the edge of the abyss.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  15. Dave N, his evaporating public support limits his ability to graft and betray his slymy way through congress act like a typical Liberal Democrat after being elected on the republican party’s dime. His co-thieves fellow Liberals know he may not be able to deliver on his promises, so they’re not as likely to approach him.

    And I wouldn’t bet against him losing the primary, unless it’s open. badmouthing the people you expect to vote for you is usually the sign of a losing candidate.

    DaveP. (24a66f)

  16. Dave N,

    I’m not predicting the future but I am savoring the moment.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  17. Sometimes it’s just a little fairy dust what can turn these sorts of things around.

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  18. This is GREAT news! Lindsey Graham is a smarmy, self-righteous prig whose defeat would not cost us a Republican vote but rather spare us yet another RINO vote–and serve as a potent warning to others who are tempted to court the base only in election years. GOOD RIDDANCE!

    Kevin Stafford (5d18a5)

  19. “The personal attacks against me during the primary finally became so heavy that the state Republican chairman, Gaylord Parkinson, postulated what he called the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. It’s a rule I followed during that campaign and have ever since.”- Ronald Reagan, source,

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  20. No his first name ain’t baby it’s Lindsey.

    Miss Graham if you’re nasty.

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  21. So now the troll is quoting Reagan. Now if only it will stop fantasizing about meeting Von Braun, saving the world and sniffing Limbaugh’s armpits.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  22. feets – Do you mean he sits down to pee like DCSCA?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  23. and with his legs crossed at the ankles I think

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  24. Can you imagine what a shot in the arm it would be for democracy if we were able to rid the body politic of Lindsey Graham? It would be a beautiful thing.

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  25. Well, since RINOs and DIABLOs aren’t really Republicans … And I am only a Republican since there isn’t a viable Conservative Party candidate …

    What was your point again, o man of fifty lifetime careers?

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  26. I am a fairly conservative Republican (I will certainly match my bona fides against anyone here) but, honestly, to acuse Graham of being a RINO is idiotic.

    He may not be your cup of tea; he may have positions you object to (I am opposed to cap and trade, too); he may not even survive some future Republican primary in South Carolina. But 90% votes with his caucus puts him way to right of the Democratic caucus.

    Oh, and I am sick of people defining someone as a “RINO” because that other person doesn’t measure up on all of YOUR important issues. Guess what? NOBODY on the planet matches your views on all issues. The Democrats have have self-righteously gone after their own on issues like abortion. I am mad as hell at those who want the same kind of litmus tests on policy issues for Republicans.

    Dave N (c7afc5)

  27. But, you see, Lindsey Grahamnesty is a bonafide RINO. He even carries his RINO card around with him so he can proudly display it.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  28. Let me be clear here for folks like Dave N to understand. The Republican Party is the moderate party. The Democrat Party is the liberal party. There is no room at the inn for Conservatives, except to accept the crumbs from the Republican candidates. Libertarians are pretty much in the same boat there.

    The Conservative base of the Republican Party says (at 74 percent) that the idiots in charge are out of touch. Don’t give me this kowtow bovine byproduct. Tea Parties and 912 and Town Hall meetings weren’t all about kowtowing to the (R) in power. They were all about “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?”

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  29. I personally don’t have much at stake regarding the reformation of the Republican party – except that I would like someone to vote for who isn’t either a lunatic (seemingly a high percentage of Libertarian candidates) or a pick-pocketing Democrat.

    I am interested though – leaving aside the shared philosophic elements between Libertarians and small-government conservatives – what would be the core principles around which Grahams’ version of the Republican party could be formed? I’ve lived in Arizona for all of John McCain’s political career so you’d think I’d have some kind of general understanding of what was meant, but I really don’t.

    JSinAZ (ae2d5e)

  30. Look I was originally for Guiliani, so I’m willing to let somethings slide, but pro military
    , strong foreign policy, energy production, low tax, anti crime, is like the bare minimum and Lindsey well, ay dios mio, as they would say in my native tongue (OMG)

    bishop (996c34)

  31. But 90% votes with his caucus puts him way to right of the Democratic caucus.

    Close. In 2007, Americans for Democratic Action rated Graham at 20 percent liberal. The American Conservative Union gave him 82 percent. In 2008, ADA rated Graham at 15 percent liberal.

    Of course, Graham dissented on amnesty and cap and tax, two of the more important issues. But based on his voting record, calling him a RINO seems not substantiated.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  32. I don’t think Graham is a RINO, either. He’s a maverick like McCain, and I can live with that, if I have to, as evidenced by my last Presidential vote. What I don’t like is his (and McCain’s) judgment. Graham waffles when important values are at stake like amnesty, cap and trade, and judicial appointments.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  33. Dave N is mad as hell, just in case you didn’t catch that.

    How mad is Dave N?

    Mad as hell, actually.

    oh. I did not know that about Dave N.

    Well I’m glad I was here to bring it to your attention.

    Thank you very much.

    You are very welcome.

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  34. …Amnesty cost the Republicans Congress in ’06 and was one of the big reasons that they lost worse in ’08; and if it had passed, would have created a permanent voting majority for the Democrats. Cap and Graft, LG’s big pet project, will funnel tens of billions of dollars to Democratic strongholds and Democratic Party supporters, at the cost of millions of American jobs and of possibly pushing an economic recovery back a decade or more. Both would severely damage the United States as a nation.

    And Dave N. is upset that we’re calling Senator “I’m gonna tell the bigots to shut up!” a RINO, because he votes with his party on a bunch of issues that wouldn’t give complete control of the country to the Democrats.

    Concern troll.

    DaveP. (24a66f)

  35. Bradley, think of Graham as an SC quarterback. Let’s call him Barkley. He completes a lot of passes for 2 yards and one for -5 yards. That’s a little like that 82% rating with most of the rating points 2 yard passes. Cap & Trade is a big one. How did he do on that one ?

    I had a painful Saturday afternoon.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  36. Sorry about the Saturday pain, Dr. Capt. Mike K.

    Cap & Trade is a big fumble, no doubt. There are still basic scientific questions about the validity of AGW theory, and the rival cosmic ray hypothesis looks very lively indeed. But politicians were never good about technology.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  37. Don’t forget the Gang of 14:

    The authors may be correct in their speculation that a number of GOP senators were potential defectors. One of the major points of demanding that judicial nominees get an up-or-down vote, however, was to impose political accountability: to make the McCains, DeWines, Grahams and the rest go on record. Given the Whites’ accusation that McCain detractors share “a fundamental misunderstanding of both the facts of that [judicial nomination] fight and the larger principles at stake,” this is rather a glaring omission on their part.

    The Gang of 14 deal was, for all intents and purposes, the deal that then-Minority Leader Harry Reid offered Frist the previous week. The Majority Leader [Bill Frist] turned Reid down flat. He opted to press ahead — something it would have been exceedingly strange to do if he secretly approved of the deal’s terms, as the Whites suggest. Frist obviously did that because he perceived, given the pressure from conservatives, that if compelled to be publicly accountable, many of the potential GOP defectors would vote in favor of ending filibusters despite their misgivings.

    The Gang of 14 was Graham’s (et al) way of not being publicly accountable.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  38. Only reason I can’t be too tough on people like Graham is because he (and I’ll have to qualify that with the word “unfortunately”) represents a lot of folks who exist all around us in society, including spouses, friends, sons, daughters, cousins, neighbors, co-workers, bosses, friends, etc, etc. People whose ideology is squishy, if not rather liberal (or “centrist”), and prone to switching back and forth or wandering all over the place.

    And notice the variety of people who hesitate to call a spade a spade, and find themselves using what I’d describe as euphemisms similar to “lefty” or “progressive,” or to not label people for what they truly are? They’re an example that in some folks’ eyes being too candid about someone’s political leanings is considered bad form or sort of similar to blurting out “you have bad breath!!”

    So it’s even easier for people like Lindsey Graham to suffer from ideological halitosis, and to be totally clueless about it, because people around him are too tactful or embarassed to confront him with: “hey, dude, your decisionmaking is getting too liberal and it’s starting to stink!”

    Mark (411533)

  39. Graham knows what he is. He’s counting on us not knowing.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  40. […] Patterico has some very good thoughts on the wilting, yet arrogant […]

    Crisis in South Carolina: Graham May Have to Remove His Head from McCain’s Posterior. (9cf8b6)

  41. Graham’s problem isn’t that he’s a RINO (he isn’t). Graham’s problem is that, after 6 years in the Senate as John McCain’s “mini me” he has picked up on all of McCain’s bad pseudo-maverick habits (cap n’trade, non-amnesty amnesty, etc.) without the compelling war story, strong committment to national security and heart on his sleeve patriotism that makes it at least somewhat palatable when its coming from McCain. McCain can wander off the small government reservation (and get testy and arrogant when his supporters call him on it) and I still like the guy, cos he’s McCAIN. Graham? Not so much.

    Sean P (50f5d9)

  42. Lets stop going back so far in the past and just look at what the man has done recently. He was an active supporter of giving Amnesty to people who broke into the country, got fake ID’s, got jobs and homes and called people who had problems with people actively breaking multiple laws racists and bigots. He is a supporter of not electing Republican Candidates who are willing to make public stands on issues and fight that same way in office.

    He is the right hand man of McCain who has publicly said he wants to remake the Party in his image. The same party stands that led to The Decade of The Moderate Party 2000-2009 where Republicans became a nearly powerless minority.

    He is the man who jumped on Cap and Trade with that staunch Conservative Activist John F Kerry and gave contradicting reasons for that decision. First He was in all the way, then well he is against it but then he was for it as long as it didn’t raise business costs.

    Make up your own mind but as far as I can tell Graham is acting this way entirely because he doesn’t have to worry about re-election for 4 years and this is the real him.

    Rob (a654f6)

  43. This issue with Graham quickly becomes a “Purity of Essence” (hat tip to Stanley Kubrick) problem.

    It’s not a “me versus them” issue.

    The problem is simple: what do Republicans have as core principles?

    I love the idea of partisanship, but it needs to go both ways. I don’t think that Graham “gets” that. As such, he has been fairly complicit in turning the Republican party into a statist and spendy institution.

    What are the core values? That will be the real topic in 2010. And I suspect in 2012 as well.

    Because we know what this administration stands for, don’t we?

    Eric Blair (711059)

  44. His comment about not being a libertarian is the big problem.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  45. The real problem here is FTS is a libertarian blog that hates Lindsey, and is willing to do mischief, mislead, and not exactly tell the truth about things when it comes to Lindsey.

    Secondly, Lindsey has REPEATEDLY stated that he does NOT support Cap/Trade but obviously the far right doesn’t care about fact checking.

    Thirdly, Lindsey is advocating energy independence and is being attacked by PAC with ties to “big oil”, who wants to take him down for suggesting we might be rash enough to embark on a drill/here drill/now program.

    Golly – he’s also listed as one of the ACU’s standout conservatives – but I guess that doesn’t matter either – just the lies the Ron Paul Bots and the Tea Party “patriots?” want to tell.

    Go figure.

    The Pink Flamingo

    SJ Reidhead (826200)

  46. “Lindsey Graham has voted with the GOP 90% of the time.”

    Therein lies the complete problem with out system.
    Why not, “America/Constitution first, Party last?”
    Throw all the bums out that say one thing to get elected and then do another.
    Too bad we can’t make campaign promises a BINDING contract with legal consequences when they break them.

    Paul Albers (7adcc2)

  47. Reidhead sure p3wnd you racist homophobes !

    JD (45da85)

  48. Actually his words considering the cap n trade bill are very much on the record. and this bill is an unalloyed atrocity, it’s very purpose is to drive a stake through the American economy. McCain was another who voted against the OCS extension recently, it’s like these people have short term memory loss or something

    bishop (4e0dda)

  49. Is SJ actually saying that TEA protestors are not patriots? That’s a pretty lousy effort, SJ.

    Graham is going to have to vote one way or the other on the bills we are speculating about, but his votes in the past have displayed his politics, and many don’t agree with them and will comment on that. This is called ‘democracy’, btw. Graham, like Mccain or Justice Kennedy, know where the power is. It’s not a coincidence they happen to be there.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  50. Secondly, Lindsey has REPEATEDLY stated that he does NOT support Cap/Trade but obviously the far right doesn’t care about fact checking.

    New York Times
    October 11, 2009
    Op-Ed Contributors
    Yes We Can (Pass Climate Change Legislation)
    . . . First, we agree that climate change is real and threatens our economy and national security. That is why we are advocating aggressive reductions in our emissions of the carbon gases that cause climate change. We will minimize the impact on major emitters through a market-based system that will provide both flexibility and time for big polluters to come into compliance without hindering global competitiveness or driving more jobs overseas. . .

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  51. Bradley, while that’s obviously support, I am sure there’s something out there where Graham also says he’s opposed to some problem this idea causes.

    That’s how these people work, but at the end of the day, if you support freedom and limited government, it’s hard to see how Graham has time for your views.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  52. Dustin,
    That was mainly for the benefit of the SJ troll. By its loony standards, the New York Times must be a “far right” publication.

    Graham’s contempt for those concerned about limited government came out loud and clear with his dissing of Libertarians.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  53. Good work, Bradley. The trolls can’t even be bothered to read first before making a claim. I’m sure that one is miles away by now, posting on its list of blogs to visit today. It is an interesting cluster of terms though.

    he real problem here is FTS is a libertarian blog that hates Lindsey, and is willing to do mischief, mislead, and not exactly tell the truth about things when it comes to Lindsey.

    Now why would a libertarian blog hate Lindsey ? Is he one of those Christers ?

    Secondly, Lindsey has REPEATEDLY stated that he does NOT support Cap/Trade but obviously the far right doesn’t care about fact checking.

    So that darned far right is lying again. They must really be confused if he is supporting their position.

    Thirdly, Lindsey is advocating energy independence and is being attacked by PAC with ties to “big oil”, who wants to take him down for suggesting we might be rash enough to embark on a drill/here drill/now program.

    So BIG OIL doesn’t want us to drill ? What ? They are all Saudis now ?

    Golly – he’s also listed as one of the ACU’s standout conservatives – but I guess that doesn’t matter either – just the lies the Ron Paul Bots and the Tea Party “patriots?” want to tell.

    Yes, there seems to be a consistent theme here if I could figure it out. Maybe the far right hates big oil ? Or the Tea Parties are all Muslims ? And those darn libertarians. I guess they want big government.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  54. Bradley, I appreciate you going out of your way to absolutely demolish the lies SJ tried to tell.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

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