South Carolina political donors continue to give more to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and his long-shot White House bid than any other candidate.
The Seneca Republican has raised $1.3 million in the Palmetto State since announcing his White House bid, according to campaign finance reports filed late Thursday.
More than $500,000 of Graham’s S.C. support has come from Charleston, Columbia and Greenville donors combined. In-state donors gave him $410,000 from July through September, more than any other candidate received during the period.
Graham – struggling in the polls and in the race for cash – raised just $1 million in 2015’s third quarter, finishing September with $1.7 million to spend.
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Nationally, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who trails only Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in the polls, bested the GOP pack with a $21 million fund-raising haul for the quarter.
Carson also is the second-best Republican at capturing S.C. dollars. Carson raised $184,000 in the Palmetto State during the three-month period. Thus far, he has raised $263,000 in South Carolina.
Trailing Carson in total S.C. campaign donations is U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has raised $216,000, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has raised $156,000.
Trump, who also is the GOP frontrunner in South Carolina, raised $3.9 million nationally during the quarter, finishing September with $255,000 to spend.
The billionaire real-estate mogul and reality-TV star, who started out self-financing his campaign, has raised only $21,000 in the Palmetto State.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton brought in $30 million nationwide during the quarter, the best fund-raising haul of any presidential candidate. Thus far in her campaign, Clinton has raised more than $325,000 from S.C. donors.
Polling at 4 percent in an average of S.C. polls, Graham’s presidential campaign touted in an email to supporters Friday that he has more cash on hand than a half-dozen other GOP presidential contenders — Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore.
All but Gilmore and Pataki are beating Graham in national polls.
Graham said Friday on MSNBC that if he does not do well in New Hampshire’s Feb. 9 primary, he will have to “re-evaluate” his candidacy. That primary is 11 days before South Carolina’s GOP race.
Raising S.C. campaign cash
Where S.C. political contributions flow, ranked by the top fund-raising candidates in the Palmetto State, the amount they have raised and their top donor cities:
Top Republican fundraisers in S.C.
1. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham – $1.3 million; Greenville ($228,000), Columbia ($216,000) and Charleston ($109,000)
2. Ben Carson – $263,000; Greenville ($26,000), Charleston ($24,000) and Hilton Head ($11,000)
3. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio – $216,000; Greenville ($41,000) and Columbia ($26,000)
4. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush – $154,000; Charleston ($39,000) and Spartanburg ($34,000)
Top Democratic fundraisers in S.C.
1. Hillary Clinton – $325,000; Columbia ($81,000) and Charleston ($72,000)
2. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders – $40,000; Charleston ($7,110)
SOURCE: Federal Election Commission presidential campaign records