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South Carolina's largest paper finnally admits Lindsey Graham is hated. Election Coverage

Photo Left: $5 million in campaign funds and Graham could only muster a small turnout at his BBQ campaign rally in Columbia.

The State, South Carolina’s largest newspaper, is finally admitted that Sen. Lindsey Graham is hated. The paper also hinted that Lindsey Graham is playing fast and loose with the truth about his record in the Senate.

According to CofCC members who were delegates at the South Carolina GOP State Convention, speakers Sen. Jim Demint, Gov. Sanford, and RNC Committeeman Buddy Witherspoon all receive standing ovations. When pro-amnesty Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke, half the crowd did not even clap, much less stand up. At the 2006 Convention, Lindsey Graham was booed.

Graham made a rare public appearance in South Carolina Saturday, June 7th for a campaign rally. Only about 75 people, mostly elderly who still think of Graham as the anti-Clinton Congressman from the 90’s, showed up. A group of CofCC members and some others including the USC student group Gamecocks for Freedom protested the event.

Even the state’s largest, most liberal, most pro-Lindsey Graham newspaper today finally admitted that Graham is hated in his own state.

The State…

Yet in South Carolina — especially in the conservative Upstate that Graham calls home — some of his more conservative constituents freely accost him on the street and yell at him on radio talk shows.

“He takes great pride in saying he stands by his convictions,” said E.C. Fulcher, a retired Lockheed Martin engineer who lives in Chapin. “Well, who’s to say his convictions are right? I don’t like some of his convictions, especially on immigration.”

Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota, said Graham’s complicated political life highlights a problem the Republican Party faces nationwide: Many of its most committed activists are more conservative and more overtly ideological than the GOP officeholders who represent them.

“The kind of backlash that Lindsey Graham is facing in South Carolina is a good example of the tension we’re seeing at the national level and in a number of states,” Jacobs said.

Yet, Graham is running a hard-right campaign, heralding his support for gun rights and conservative judges, while touting his opposition to abortion and wasteful government spending.

Graham last month set up the “South Carolina Values Coalition” of “pro-family and pro-life leaders (who) praise the senator’s conservative record.”

On Friday, he announced his “National Security Coalition” of S.C. military leaders.

While Graham said in an interview that one of his top first-term achievements was writing legislation that increased health benefits for National Guard and Reserve members, he didn’t add what he often has noted in the past — U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., helped him craft the bill.

Graham was one of the point men for President Bush’s bid to provide millions of illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship while also tightening control over the Mexico-U.S. border. Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh started calling the Bush immigration bill “Grahamnesty.”

Hillary Clinton. Graham has praised Senate colleague Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., for her professionalism and work ethic. That did not sit well with many conservatives.

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