But the close results suggested Mr. Graham’s standing had also taken a significant hit in the state since he last ran in 2014. Before his re-election this time, the senator had undertaken a considerable political makeover, casting aside a reputation as a dealmaking moderate who once called Mr. Trump a “race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot” to present himself as a conservative warrior standing at the president’s right hand. The transformation appeared to have alienated some moderate Republicans turned off by the president, even as it failed to persuade some of his staunchest conservative supporters.Mr. Harrison tried to exploit those fissures, portraying Mr. Graham as a morally compromised politician willing to do whatever it took to win. Flush with more than $86 million in contributions — a record haul for a Senate race fueled by out-of-state liberals who loathed Mr. Graham — Mr. Harrison blanketed the state with advertising that not only reinforced his own candidacy, but also bolstered Bill Bledsoe, a Constitution Party candidate who he hoped might siphon conservative votes away from Mr. Graham. “To those who have been following this race from afar, I hope you got the message,” a triumphant Mr. Graham declared Tuesday night in Columbia. “Here’s the message I got: People like what I’m doing, and I’m going to keep doing it.”- Advertisement – Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, fended off the most difficult challenge of his career on Tuesday, turning back a Democrat backed by a record-setting onslaught of campaign cash to win a fourth term, according to The Associated Press.The victory reassured jittery Republicans, who were forced this fall to divert tens of millions of dollars from key battlegrounds to a deeply conservative state to save Mr. Graham. It also dashed the hopes of Democrats who believed a victory by their candidate, Jaime Harrison, would improve their chances of seizing the Senate majority.- Advertisement – He added, “When it comes to Lindsey Graham, and team Graham, the best is yet to come.”Mr. Graham, 65, has been a fixture in Washington since the 1990s, when he was first elected to the House, and is known as a wily and effective political messenger.He avoided making his fight against Mr. Harrison personal. Instead, he attacked his Democratic opponent as a generic liberal whose policy preferences on health care, spending and judges were simply out of line with a solidly conservative state.- Advertisement – Mr. Harrison, a Black Democrat whose upstart campaign electrified progressives across the country, would have been only the second African-American from the South elected to the Senate since Reconstruction.In the end, though, Mr. Graham, the chairman of the influential Judiciary Committee, leaned heavily on his stature in Washington to pull through. Just days before the election, he helped deliver a singular conservative victory, the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, using the highly partisan fight in the Senate to bolster his campaign. He also benefited from a close relationship with President Trump, who easily carried the state on Tuesday. That did not prove to be enough. Mr. Harrison simply could not find enough South Carolinians willing to vote for a Democrat.“Tonight only slowed us down, but a New South with leaders who reflect the community and serve the interests of everyone will be here soon enough,” Mr. Harrison said Tuesday night in a concession speech. He urged Mr. Graham to cultivate his independent streak.If he had a chance of doing so, it almost certainly ended in the weeks after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in mid-September. In 2018, Mr. Graham’s fiery defense of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in the face of accusations of sexual assault briefly made him a conservative rock star.This time around, as chairman of the judiciary panel, he had a microphone and a spotlight in nationally televised hearings to present himself as an ally of conservative women and remind the party’s voters what was at stake. He could credibly claim to be a crucial force in cementing a conservative majority on the court that Republicans have long made a priority.Now, Mr. Graham will have six more years in Washington. In the weeks before Election Day, Mr. Graham had hinted that he might try to reclaim his independent streak if re-elected. And with the potential of Mr. Trump’s defeat, he would be positioned to have a major role in determining his party’s path forward. – Advertisement –
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Arsenal are ready to challenge for the Barclays Premier League crown this season. Press Association Arsene Wenger has delivered three Premier League titles since replacing Bruce Rioch as manager in 1996, but the Gunners have finished no higher than third in each of the last 10 seasons as the Frenchman often shunned big-money signings in favour of developing young talent. Arsenal finished 13 points behind Chelsea last season as the Blues won the Premier League at a canter, but Mourinho believes the arrival in recent years of the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy for more than £100million means the Gunners are ready to challenge for league honours. “If you add up the amounts clubs have spent in the last three or four years I think maybe you will find a surprise,” Mourinho, who allowed goalkeeper Petr Cech to join Arsenal in an £11million deal last month, said in the Guardian. “If you put Ozil plus Alexis Sanchez, plus Chambers, plus Debuchy, you will find a surprise. “It’s a fantastic squad with good players, fantastic goalkeeper, they are more than ready to be a title contenders.” Speaking on Chelsea’s pre-season tour of America, Mourinho also claimed that Eden Hazard had a better season last time out than Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Hazard won individual and team honours at the end of a stellar campaign – most notably the Premier League title and the PFA Player of the Year. And, according to his manager, his performance level was higher than that of Ballon D’or winner Ronaldo. In a number of national newspapers, he said: “Eden is coming with a big status now and was voted in the top 10 players in Europe last year. In my opinion he should be in the top three, not the top 10. I think he’s the best player in our country. He’s alongside Messi and Ronaldo, depending on the season they have. “But they have to win some titles, no? Football without titles is nothing. Last season Eden was above Ronaldo, in spite of the fact that Ronaldo was fantastic and scored an incredible number of goals. “I don’t like players of managers to win individual trophies without the team. In my personal view, every football player in the world has to put the team first, but he has no titles.” Chelsea begin their title defence at home against Swansea on the opening day of the new Premier League season on Saturday, August 8.