Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 4, 2014.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham defeats six GOP challengers


In the shadow of Eric Cantor’s shocking defeat in Virginia, at least one establishment Republican has emerged victorious.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, 58, has won South Carolina’s GOP Senate primary handily, defeating six challengers and successfully avoiding a runoff election. Graham will face Democratic State Sen. Brad Hutto and Libertarian Victor Kocher in the November general election.

In early returns Tuesday, Graham had approximately 59% of the vote – far more than he needed to avoid the runoff.

All In with Chris Hayes, 6/11/14, 12:25 AM ET

Graham avoids Cantor's fate in South Carolina

MSNBC contributors Josh Barro and Dave Weigel join to discuss how Eric Cantor’s defeat at the hands of tea party challenger David Brat speaks volumes about the current climate - and character - of the Republican Party.

Graham, a U.S. senator since 2002, had a hefty fundraising advantage over his opponents. Since his last re-election bid in 2008, Graham has raised more than $12 million. None of his opponents managed to pass the $1 million mark.

Meanwhile, in South Carolina’s special Senate primary, incumbent Sen. Tim Scott, 48, won the Republican primary over challenger Randall Young, setting up a general election that could render Scott the state’s first elected African-American senator.

In the November election, Scott will face both the winner of Tuesday’s Democratic primary and American Party candidate Jill Bossi.

Of note, Young did no campaigning after filing as a candidate.

Lindsey Graham, Senate and South Carolina

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham defeats six GOP challengers