Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., will report raising more than $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2013, and ended March with nearly $5.4 million in the bank for his reelection, his campaign tells Hotline On Call.
Graham is considered vulnerable to a primary challenge from the right this cycle, particularly given his involvement with the "Gang of Eight" senators who are working to reform the nation's immigration system. Several conservative groups have been vocal about their disappointment with Graham's record, and the Club for Growth has listed him as one of their top targets this cycle. Graham ranked as just the 33rd most conservative senator on 2012's National Journal Vote Ratings.
But conservatives have yet to put forward a credible challenger, and many of the early names floated as potential candidates for his seat decided early to take a pass, including the GOP members of the state's congressional delegation. State Sen. Lee Bright confirmed to On Call in February that he is taking a serious look at the race, but strong fundraising by Graham could spell trouble for a candidate who isn't well-known statewide and doesn't have a history of high-dollar fundraising.
Graham's cash-on-hand total is one of the highest reported so far by an incumbent senator up for reelection next year, bested only by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who reported having $8.6 million stashed away for his own 2014 race.
Graham will also have the help of the West Main Street Values Fund, a super PAC formed earlier this year to aide in his reelection efforts.
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