By Robert Kittle
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham was back home in South Carolina Friday and said he would ask Fox News to reconsider excluding him from the presidential undercard debate next Tuesday. To qualify to be in that debate, a candidate must get at least one percent in the most recent polls and Graham has fallen below that. But he’s appealing because Fox is using an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that did not include the names of five of the candidates, including Graham.
“If your name’s not on the ballot, you’re not going to win the election,” he says. “So we’re asking Fox to look at this. If you take that poll out, then we’re at 2 percent; we get in the debates. So all I can tell you is life’s unfair, but it’s pretty hard to do well in a poll when they don’t list your name, so hopefully they’ll reconsider.”
The fact that he’s dropped below one percent has some voters thinking he should give up his presidential campaign. Landon Masters, of Columbia, says, “I don’t know if it’s a good idea for him to continue, or if it’s even worth it.”
But Sen. Graham says, “We’re doing well in New Hampshire and Senator McCain’s going to endorse me. We’ll keep fighting. Soldiers don’t quit; I’m not going to quit.”
As for not polling well even in his home state, he says, “Rubio and Bush are losing in Florida. This means nothing. At the end of the day, if I break through in New Hampshire, I’ll win South Carolina decisively.
“I’ve got to be seen as viable outside the state to do well here. But if I break through in New Hampshire, if I can get 15 or 20 percent of the vote, Senator McCain won twice. I’ve been working really hard up there. I’ll win my state. If I don’t do well in New Hampshire, I’ll re-evaluate.”
He says at this point, the campaign is just a measure of name recognition and celebrity, but things will change once voters start going to the polls.