Republican anti-Trump group the Lincoln Project has launched a blistering attack on senator Lindsey Graham, describing him as a "political parasite" just days before South Carolina's remaining voters head to the polls.
"Lindsey Graham: a political parasite with a record of lies and personal betrayals," the narrator says in a new ad, which aired earlier this week. "He was barely holding on before becoming Donald Trump's sycophant.
"Now? He's despised. And desperate," the narrator continues. Senator Graham, 65, faces the fight of his political life to hang onto his South Carolina seat, which he has held since 2002 after replacing Strom Thurmond.
He is up against a well-funded opponent in Democrat Jaime Harrison, with the latest polls showing the race on a knife edge just a week out from election day.
As chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, senator Graham was at the heart of GOP's successful move to install judge Amy Coney Barrett on the supreme court before the 3 November poll.
Mr Harrison, 44, saw a surge in political donations in protest at Mr Trump's plans to press ahead with replacing the late justice and liberal icon, Ruth Bather Ginsburg, who died in September following a cancer diagnosis.
Senator Graham, who has been one of the president's most fervent cheerleaders, subsequently complained that he was getting "killed" financially by his rival, who he claimed was set to raise "$100 million".
Apparently getting outmuscled financially, senator Graham appeared on Fox News twice in a matter of days last month to get out the cash begging bowl, asking donors to "please help".
“Now more than ever, we need a strong leader like Jaime Harrison,” the Lincoln project ad goes on. "A man who will fight for South Carolina and would never beg."
According to campaign spending filings, Mr Harrison pulled in a record-busting $57 million in the third quarter of 2020, smashing the previous $38.1 million haul raked in by Beto O'Rourke in his 2018 run for the Senate.
In the first two weeks of October, Mr Harrison added a further $22 million to his war chest. Meanwhile, senator Graham pulled $14.8 million over a similar period of time. He reportedly has just over $13 million left to spend before the those who haven't already voted in South Carolina head to the polls.
Mr Harrison's campaign chief Zack Caroll said earlier this month the team needed to raise some $10 million in the final 12 days of campaigning if they were to keep pace with senator Graham's spending.