On Sunday, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham said on Meet the Press that he has "set up a testing-the-waters committee" to decide whether Graham will run for president. Sen. Graham joins an ever-more-crowded field of Republicans who are throwing their hats into the ring, or testing the waters, or whatever they call it before they actually decide to run for president. Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie are expected to be candidates, although none has officially launched a campaign yet.
Graham told Chuck Todd he wasn't sure "where this will go" in his Meet the Press appearance. But Graham is so low on everyone's radar that he wasn't even one of the candidates included on a recent CBS News poll of potential GOP nominees.
That said, Graham's home state of South Carolina is considered an early predictor of a nominee's success; it follows soon after the New Hampshire primary and Iowa caucuses.
So, who is Lindsey Graham? Despite being from one of the redder red states, he's considered a moderate Republican, known for his preference for collaborating with Democrats rather than battling with them.
Graham has at least one strong supporter among prominent Republicans. Sen. John McCain of Arizona (oddly) referred to Graham as his "illegitimate son" a few days before Graham's Meet the Press appearance:
I am strongly encouraging Senator Lindsey Graham, particularly with the world the way it is today.
A look at Graham's voting record, however, shows him following the GOP party line pretty closely: He's anti-abortion, doesn't support same-sex marriage, and supports repealing the Affordable Care Act.
But he has supported immigration reform, and has said the Republican party hurt its efforts among Hispanic voters by failing to enact some kind of changes. “I don't believe most Americans would fault the Republican Party if we allowed children who have been here since they're babies to assimilate into society with a pathway to citizenship after we secure our borders," Graham told CNN last year.
However, he doesn't support President Obama's executive order to overhaul immigration rules.
If Lindsey Graham wants to be a front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2016, he will probably have to distinguish himself from the rest of the pack. But with so many potential candidates with a clearer image, Graham may not be able to get his testing-the-waters-campaign to float.
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