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When I was in South Carolina in February for the Democratic primary, I sat down with Jaime Harrison. He’s the former chairman of the state’s Democratic Party, the first African American to hold the post. And now he’s vying to become the Palmetto State’s second black sitting U.S. senator by running against incumbent Republican Sen. Lindsey O. Graham. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the state’s other senator, is the first African American elected to the Senate from a Southern state since Reconstruction and only the 10th to ever serve in that chamber.

Harrison has an incredible biography, one that took him from being so poor he ate cereal with water to being a graduate of Yale University and Georgetown law school. His race to defeat Graham has gone from improbable to possible. Since my interview with Harrison for the latest episode of “Cape Up,” Harrison’s first-quarter fundraising haul of $7.3 million broke state records. And an internal Harrison campaign poll shows that a “58 percent majority think it’s time for someone new” in the Senate.

Harrison related a story from a Charleston, S.C., focus group that might explain why Graham finds himself in a competitive race. “One woman said to the moderator, she said, ‘I’m bothered by the fact that Lindsey Graham did not stand up for his friend John McCain,” recounted Harrison. “And she said, ‘If he won’t stand up for his best friend, then what will he do for me?”

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