Lindsey Graham

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See also: Lindsey Graham possible presidential campaign, 2016
Lindsey Graham
Lindsey Graham.jpg
U.S. Senate, South Carolina
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 12
PredecessorJ. Strom Thurmond (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Cost per vote$17.04 in 2014
First electedNovember 5, 2002
Campaign $$28,890,821
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives, 3rd District
South Carolina House of Representatives
City Attorney, Central South Carolina
Bachelor'sUniversity of South Carolina, Columbia, 1977
J.D.University of South Carolina Law School, 1981
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Air Force
Years of service1982-1988
Service branchSouth Carolina Air National Guard
Years of service1989-1995
Service branchU.S. Air Force Reserve
Years of service1995-Present
Date of birthJuly 9, 1955
Place of birthSeneca, S.C.
Net worth$697,003
ReligionSouthern Baptist
Office website
Campaign website


Lindsey Graham (b. July 9, 1955, in Seneca, S.C.) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of South Carolina. Graham was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and most recently won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2014. He is considered a possible presidential candidate in 2016.

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Graham represented South Carolina's 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and served in the South Carolina House of Representatives.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Graham is a more moderate right of center Republican Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Republican Party line more than his fellow members.


Graham was born in Seneca, South Carolina on July 9, 1955.[1] He graduated from Daniel High School in 1973.[1] He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina in 1977 and his J.D. from the University of South Carolina Law School in 1981. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1982 to 1988 and the South Carolina Air National Guard from 1989 to 1995. He currently serves in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Graham worked as a lawyer in a private practice prior to entering Congress.[1]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Graham's academic, professional and political career:[2]

  • 2003-Present: U.S. Senator from South Carolina
  • 1995-Present: United States Air Force Reserves
  • 1995-2003: U.S. Representative from South Carolina's 3rd Congressional District
  • 1992-1994: Served as member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
  • 1990-1994: Served as City Attorney for Central, S.C.
  • 1988-1992: Served as Assistant County Attorney, Oconee County, S.C.
  • 1989-1995: South Carolina Air National Guard
  • 1982-1988: United States Air Force
  • 1981: Earned his J.D. from University of South Carolina School of Law
  • 1977: Earned his B.A. from University of South Carolina, Columbia

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Graham serves on the following committees:[3]


Graham served on the following Senate committees:[4]

  • Appropriations Committee
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
    • Subcommittee on Department of Defense
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
  • Armed Services Committee
    • Subcommittee on SeaPower
    • Subcommittee on Personnel
    • Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
  • Budget Committee
  • Judiciary Committee
    • Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, Ranking Member
    • Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law
    • Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights
    • Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights subcommittee


Graham served on the following Senate committees:

Key votes

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[5] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Graham's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[6]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Yea3.png Graham voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[7]


Farm bill

Yea3.png On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[8] It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that will kick in when prices drop; however, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[9] Graham joined with 19 other Republican senators in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[10][11] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[11] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[12] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Graham voted with the 17 Republican and the 55 Democratic members in favor of the bill.[10][11]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Graham donated his salary to the Wounded Warriors Project while the government was shutdown.[13]

Yea3.png During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[14] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Graham voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[15]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Yea3.png Graham voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[16]


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.
Mexico-U.S. border

Nay3.png Graham voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[17]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Nay3.png Graham voted against S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[18]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal cliff

Yea3.png Graham voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003, while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[19]


On The Issues Vote Match

Lindsey Graham's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Graham is a Hard-Core Conservative. Graham received a score of 14 percent on social issues and 80 percent on economic issues.[20]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[21]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Favors Keep God in the public sphere Strongly Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Favors Human needs over animal rights Neutral
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Strongly Favors
Support & expand free trade Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Neutral Maintain US sovereignty from UN Opposes
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Strongly Favors Never legalize marijuana Strongly Favors
Note: Information last updated: April 19, 2015.[20] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.

National security

Letter to Iran

On March 9, 2015, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) wrote a letter to Iran's leadership, warning them that signing a nuclear deal with the Obama administration without congressional approval was merely an "executive agreement." The letter also stated that "The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time." The letter was signed by 47 Republican members of the Senate. Graham was one of the 47 who signed the letter. No Democrats signed it.[22]

The letter caused intense backlash from both the Obama administration and the public. Vice President Joe Biden said of the letter, "In thirty-six years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which senators wrote directly to advise another country — much less a longtime foreign adversary — that the president does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them."[23] On Twitter, the hashtag "47Traitors" became the top trending topic in the world, and a debate raged as to whether the 47 who signed the letter were traitors or patriots.[24]


Graham met with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, along with John McCain in January 2014. The two senators urged Karzai to stop releasing prisoners that were a danger to U.S. security. They also urged him to sign the U.S. - Afghan bilateral security agreement. The U.S. threatened to remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, if Karzai did not sign the agreement. Karzai wanted to wait to sign the agreement until after the spring election. Karzai could not seek re-election, due to term limits.[25]


See also: United States involvement in Syria

Graham expressed frustration with President Barack Obama over the Syria situation in September 2013. Obama said he would seek Congressional approval prior to intervening in Syria, and Graham believed this was a mistake. Graham said, "Well, this is about the most mismanaged situation I’ve ever seen since World War II when they were trying to control the Nazis. I just- this is bizarre. We’re going, we’re not going, we don’t need Congress, yes we do. Let’s see if we can come up with a strategy that has a chance of working. A military strike to degrade Assad, upgrading the rebel opposition forces, regional players help carrying some of the burden makes sense to me. This is [sic] all bad options, but that option to me has a chance of working."[26]

Statement on Russian deal

Graham and Senator John McCain released a joint statement on the Russian deal with Syria to relinquish Syria's chemical weapons. McCain and Graham called the deal, "an act of provocative weakness on America’s part. We cannot imagine a worse signal to send to Iran as it continues its push for a nuclear weapon. Is the message of this agreement that Assad is now our negotiating partner, and that he can go on slaughtering innocent civilians and destabilizing the Middle East using every tool of warfare, so long as he does not use chemical weapons? That is morally and strategically indefensible."[27]

The two senators offered their own recommendation saying, “The only way this underlying conflict can be brought to a decent end is by significantly increasing our support to moderate opposition forces in Syria. We must strengthen their ability to degrade Assad’s military advantage, change the momentum on the battlefield, and thereby create real conditions for a negotiated end to the conflict."[27]

State of the Union response

Following the 2014 State of the Union Address, Graham said, "The world is literally about to blow up. The world as I know was not remotely described by the president. Syria is a contagion. Explain to me what happens if the Syrian conflict goes on another year and Assad continues to win. Iraq is disintegrating. The whole region is moving toward chaos, and we’re doing nothing. We’re talking about limiting drones? I hope he will leave a residual force in Afghanistan [so] they can do the job, because if he doesn’t, it will fall apart at a faster pace than Iraq."[28]

Drone filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists criticized Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster – 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[29][30][31]

After the filibuster, Graham spoke out against Paul and those that stood with him. He said, "To my Republican colleagues, I don’t remember any of you coming down here suggesting that President Bush was going to kill anybody with a drone, do you? They had a drone program back then, all of a sudden this drone program has gotten every Republican so spun up. What are we up to here?"[32]

Benghazi survivors & Obama nominees

On October 28, 2013, Graham took to Twitter to state that he would block each of Barack Obama's nominees on the Senate floor until information about the survivors of the attack in Benghazi, Libya was released. Graham tweeted:[33]

Graham tweet.JPG

Despite this vow, on October 30, Graham announced at a press conference that he was looking forward to confirming Obama's Department of Homeland Security nominee, Jeh Johnson. Graham referred to Johnson as "a really well-qualified guy." Graham also amended his earlier pronouncement by stating that the block did not extend to Rep. Mel Watt's nomination to director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, since cloture was already filed before Graham's promise.[34]

Boxer-Graham amendment

Graham sponsored an amendment along with Barbara Boxer (D-CA) that would allow victims of military sexual assault to file sworn statements instead of testifying in the pre-trial. Military courts would also have to provide victims’ lawyers with audio recordings of the hearing, in addition to limiting the defense to questions concerning probable cause. The hearings would also have to be presided over by an equal or higher ranking officer than those parties involved.[35]

Affordable Care Act

Following the rollout of the Affordable Care Act website, Graham said, "The president promised if you liked your health care you could keep it. He said it’d be as cheap as a cell phone and easy as to access as, so he’s oh for three. How could for three years you haven’t noticed that you got to roll out a website on a certain day and it not work? Everybody’s responsible but nobody’s to blame, I guess, is sort of what I learned."[36]

Graham declined his employer contribution toward Obamacare and purchased his health care via South Carolina's health care exchange. Graham explained that his previous healthcare plan was cheaper and covered more. Graham said, "Sadly, I’m not the only one who will feel the negative effects of Obamacare. It’s happening all over South Carolina."[37]

Following the ACA rollout, Graham acknowledged how difficult it would be to repeal the law. He said, "The hardest problem for us is what to do next. Should we just get out of the way and point out horror stories? Should we come up with a mini Contract With America on health care, or just say generally if you give us the Congress, the House and the Senate in 2014, here’s what we will do for you on multiple issues including health care? You become a more effective critic when you say, ‘Here’s what I’m for,’ and we’re not there yet. So there’s our struggle."[38]


Graham said he was going to introduce legislation in November 2013 to ban abortions after 20 weeks. The only exceptions would be in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother. Graham asked, "When do you become you, at 20 weeks of a pregnancy? What is the proper role of the government in protecting that child?"[39]

Gang of Eight

Graham is a member of the group of senators deemed the "Gang of Eight." This term is used to reference eight of the most influential senators on immigration reform and includes four senators from each party.[40] The group calls for comprehensive and bipartisan immigration legislation that includes their "four basic pillars":

  • 1. A “tough but fair path to citizenship . . . .contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country as required”;
  • 2. Reform our legal immigration system with a greater eye toward our economic needs;
  • 3. Workplace verification; and
  • 4. Setting up a system for admitting future workers (although the term “guest worker” is not used).[41]



See also: United States Senate elections in South Carolina, 2014

Lindsey Graham won the general election on November 4, 2014.[42] Graham won the Republican primary on June 10, 2014.[43]

Election results

General election
U.S. Senate, South Carolina General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngLindsey Graham Incumbent 55.3% 672,941
     Democratic Brad Hutto 37.6% 456,726
     Libertarian Victor Kocher 2.8% 33,839
     Independent Thomas Ravenel 3.9% 47,588
     N/A Write-in 0.4% 4,774
Total Votes 1,215,868
Source: South Carolina State Election Commission
Primary results
U.S. Senate, South Carolina Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngLindsey Graham Incumbent 56.4% 178,093
Lee Bright 15.4% 48,704
Richard Cash 8.3% 26,246
Det Bowers 7.3% 23,071
Nancy Mace 6.2% 19,560
Bill Connor 5.3% 16,847
Benjamin Dunn 1% 3,195
Total Votes 315,716
Source: Results via Associated Press

Race background

SCF target

The Senate Conservatives Fund targeted Graham in August 2013 with two weeks of radio ads designed to push Senate Republicans to support Utah's Mike Lee (Utah)'s effort to defund Obamacare.[44]

Primary vulnerability

Graham was named by National Journal as one of the top five incumbent senators at risk of losing his or her primary election. Four of the five most vulnerable senators were Republican.[45]


General Election
Poll Lindsey Graham Brad HuttoThomas RavenelUndecided/OtherMargin of ErrorSample Size
September 20 - October 1, 2014
Winthrop Poll
September 21-28, 2014
August 18 - September 2, 2014
AVERAGES 42.43% 27.67% 8% 20.07% +/-3.33 1,526
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to
General election
Poll Lindsey Graham Brad HuttoThomas RavenelVictor KocherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Voter Survey Service
July 16-20, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to
Election 2014: South Carolina Senate
Poll Lindsey Graham Brad HuttoOtherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Rasmussen Reports
July 9-10, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to
Republican primary
Republican primary
Poll Lindsey Graham Richard CashLee BrightNancy MaceDet BowersBill ConnorBenjamin DunnOther/Someone elseWon't voteMargin of ErrorSample Size
Target Point (May 16-22, 2014) (dead link)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to
Republican primary
Poll Lindsey Graham Lee BrightNancy MaceBill ConnorRichard CashNot sureRefusedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Winthrop University (February 16-23, 2014)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Approval rating

Graham's approval rating dropped 30 points in October 2013, according to a Winthrop University poll. Only 45.2 percent of Republicans approved compared to 71.6 percent in February 2013.[46]


Graham was endorsed by the following people and organizations:

Scott declined
  • During an interview on CNN's Crossfire, Sen. Tim Scott, fellow South Carolina senator, declined to endorse Sen. Graham.
"I am up for re-election next year myself. I’m going to allow for all the other folks on the ballot to represent themselves very well. I’m going to continue to work hard for my election," Scott said.[49]


Lindsey Graham - "Fighter."

Lindsey Graham - "Fiscal."

Lindsey Graham - "Defender."

Lindsey Graham - "Opt Out."

Lindsey Graham - "Tough Questions."
Darline ads

Graham released two television ads and two radio ads featuring his younger sister, Darline Graham Nordone on May 20, 2014. Graham Nordone described how her brother Lindsey took care of her while her parents were working and after her parents died when she was only 13 years old. Darline said, “It was hard when we lost my mom and my dad. Lindsey assured me that he was going to take care of me, he was going to be there for me. He never let me down. Never. I don’t see how he did it, to take on the responsibility of raising a little sister. That came from within for Lindsey.”[50]

Lindsey Graham - "Darline 30."

Lindsey Graham - "Darline 60."

Lindsey Graham - "Darline One."

Lindsey Graham - "Darline Two."

Full history

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

The below chart from Find The Best tracks the fundraising events Graham attends.

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Graham is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Graham raised a total of $28,890,821 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 21, 2015.[57]

Lindsey Graham's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2014 U.S. Senate (South Carolina) Won $11,056,889
2008 U.S. Senate (South Carolina) Won $9,713,500
2002 U.S. Senate (South Carolina) Won $5,838,233
2000 U.S. House (South Carolina, District 3) Won $2,282,199
Grand Total Raised $28,890,821

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Graham won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2014. During that election cycle, Graham's campaign committee raised a total of $11,056,889 and spent $11,464,087.[58] This is more than the average $10.6 million spent by Senate winners in 2014.[59]

Cost per vote

Graham spent $17.04 per general election vote received in 2014.

U.S. Senate, South Carolina, 2014 - Lindsey Graham Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $11,056,889
Total Spent $11,464,087
Total Raised by Election Runner-up $524,230
Total Spent by Election Runner-up $522,454
Top contributors to Lindsey Graham's campaign committee
Scana Corp$75,050
General Electric$70,500
Nelson, Mullins et al$68,640
Boeing Co$42,293
Elliott Management$41,250
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$1,028,867
Securities & Investment$845,633
Real Estate$529,216
Electric Utilities$307,756

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Graham's reports.[60]

  • Graham received a $5,000 campaign donation from former President George W. Bush in the third quarter.[68]


Graham won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Graham's campaign committee raised a total of $9,713,500 and spent $6,596,229.[69]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a two-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of two different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Graham's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $298,007 to $1,095,999. That averages to $697,003, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senate members in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Graham ranked as the 75th most wealthy senator in 2012.[70] Between 2004 and 2012, Graham's calculated net worth[71] increased by an average of 15 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[72]

Lindsey Graham Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:118%
Average annual growth:15%[73]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[74]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

PGI: Donation Concentration Metric

See also: The Donation Concentration Metric (U.S. Congress Personal Gain Index)

Filings required by the Federal Election Commission report on the industries that give to each candidate. Using campaign filings and information calculated by, Ballotpedia calculated the percentage of donations by industry received by each incumbent over the course of his or her career (or 1989 and later, if elected prior to 1988). Graham received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Lawyers/Law Firms industry.

From 1993-2014, 25.73 percent of Graham's career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[75]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
Lindsey Graham Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $30,970,084
Total Spent $25,885,152
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$3,153,060
Real Estate$1,294,922
Securities & Investment$1,119,625
Health Professionals$839,503
% total in top industry10.18%
% total in top two industries15.23%
% total in top five industries25.73%


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[76]

Graham most often votes with:

Graham least often votes with:

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Graham was a "moderate Republican leader," as of September 2014.[77] This was the same rating Graham received in July 2013.[78]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Graham missed 156 of 3,706 roll call votes from January 2003 to July 2014. This amounts to 4.2 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.0 percent among current senators as of July 2014.[79]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Graham paid his congressional staff a total of $2,593,274 in 2011. He ranked 14th on the list of the highest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 53rd overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, South Carolina ranked 29th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[80]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.


Graham was one of two members who ranked 40th in the conservative rankings in 2013.[81]


Graham was one of two members who ranked 33rd in the conservative rankings in 2012.[82]


Graham ranked 42nd in the conservative rankings in 2011.[83]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.


Graham voted with the Republican Party 79.5 percent of the time, which ranked 41st among the 45 Senate Republican members as of September 2014.[84]


Graham voted with the Republican Party 79.2 percent of the time, which ranked 42nd among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[85]


Graham is single. He is a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and is a senior instructor at the Air Force JAG School.[86]

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Lindsey Graham News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link
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Lindsey Graham


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Congressional Bioguide, "Lindsey Graham," accessed September 18, 2013
  2. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Lindsey Graham," accessed November 4, 2011
  3. United States Senate, "Committee Assignments of the 114th Congress," accessed February 17, 2015
  4. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  7. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  8., "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  9. New York Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  12. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  13. Politico, "Hill pols plan to donate, halt salary," accessed October 1, 2013
  14. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  15., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  16. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  17. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  18. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  19. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  20. 20.0 20.1 On The Issues, "Lindsey Graham Vote Match," accessed April 19, 2015
  21. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
  22. The Wall Street Journal, "Text of GOP Senators’ Letter to Iran’s Leaders on Nuclear Talks," March 9, 2015
  23. Fox News, "Firestorm erupts over GOP letter challenging Obama's power to approve Iran nuclear deal," March 10, 2015
  24. Ut San Diego, "Traitors or patriots? Senator's letter to Iran creates firestorm," March 11, 2015
  25. The Hill, "McCain, Graham press Karzai to hold off on prisoner release," accessed January 2, 2014
  26. Politico, "Lindsey Graham to Obama: Up your game," accessed September 3, 2013
  27. 27.0 27.1 Politico, "U.S.-Russia Syria deal: Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham slam agreement," accessed September 14, 2013
  28. Roll Call, "Graham Says World ‘Literally About to Blow Up’," accessed January 29, 2014
  29. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  30. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  31. ABC News, "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
  32. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  33. The Washington Post, "Graham: I will block all appointees until we get answers on Benghazi," accessed October 28, 2013
  34. Politico, "Graham renews nominee block threat over Libya," accessed October 30, 2013
  35. Politico, “Barbara Boxer, Lindsey Graham push military justice reform”, accessed November 5, 2013
  36. Politico, "Lindsey Graham: Obama '0 for 3' on ACA," accessed October 31, 2013
  37. Politico, "Lindsey Graham declines health care contribution," accessed December 10, 2013
  38. The New York Times, "With Health Law Cemented, G.O.P. Debates Next Move," accessed January 2, 2014
  39. Daily Journal, "Sen. Graham says he'll lead efforts in the Senate on a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks," accessed November 4, 2013
  40. ABC News, "Who Are the Gang Of 8 in Senate Immigration Debate?," accessed May 7, 2013
  41. Washington Post, "Gang of Eight immigration plan: Reality-based legislating," accessed May 7, 2013
  42. Daily Caller, "Nancy Mace to announce primary challenge against Lindsey Graham," accessed August 1, 2013
  43. Associated Press, "South Carolina - Summary Vote Results," accessed June 10, 2014
  44. The Hill, "Senate Conservatives Fund targets Isakson with latest 'defund ObamaCare' ad," August 22, 2013
  45. National Journal, "Ranking the Top 5 Senators Vulnerable in 2014 Primaries," accessed December 31, 2013
  46. Politico, "Polls: Lindsey Graham approval drops in South Carolina," accessed October 30, 2013
  47. 47.0 47.1 The State, "SC politics: Graham, challengers to meet at Columbia town hall," May 16, 2014
  48., "US Chamber of Commerce endorses Sen. Graham's re-election bid during Spartanburg stop," accessed April 23, 2014
  49. Politico, "Sen. Tim Scott: Lindsey Graham is on his own," accessed November 21, 2013
  50. Lindsey Graham, "RELEASE: New Ads Show Graham Siblings Overcame Tough Times Together," accessed June 4, 2014
  51. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  52. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  53. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  54. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  55. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  56. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
  57. Open Secrets, "Donor history for Lindsey Graham," accessed April 21, 2015
  58. Open Secrets, "Lindsey Graham 2014 Election Cycle," accessed April 14, 2015
  59. Open Secrets, "Winning vs. Spending," accessed April 14, 2015
  60. Federal Election Commission, "Graham 2014 Summary reports," accessed May 14, 2014
  61. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed August 1, 2013
  62. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed August 1, 2013
  63. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 30, 2013
  64. Federal Election Commission, "Graham Year-End," accessed February 14, 2014
  65. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed May 14, 2014
  66. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed October 22, 2014
  67. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed January 27, 2015
  68. Political Wire, "Bush Donates to Graham's Senate Bid," accessed October 25, 2013
  69. Open Secrets, "Lindsey Graham 2008 Election Cycle," accessed November 4, 2011
  70. OpenSecrets, "Graham, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  71. This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
  72. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  73. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  74. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  75., "Sen. Lindsey Graham," accessed October 2, 2014
  76. OpenCongress, "Lindsey Graham," accessed September 4, 2014
  77. GovTrack, "Lindsey Graham," accessed September 4, 2014
  78. GovTrack, "Lindsey Graham," accessed July 2, 2013
  79. GovTrack, "Graham," accessed September 4, 2014
  80. LegiStorm, "Lindsey Graham," accessed August 6, 2012
  81. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," September 4, 2014
  82. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  83. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
  84. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  85. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  86. Lindsey Graham, "About Lindsey," accessed May 29, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim DeMint
U.S. Senate - South Carolina
Succeeded by