After Months of Campaigning in N.H., Graham Pulls the Plug on Presidential Bid

Dec 21, 2015

Lindsey Graham, seen at a house party in New Hampshire in October, ended his presidential bid this morning.
Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Republican Lindsey Graham ended his presidential bid today.

The South Carolina senator was a frequent and vigorous campaigner in New Hampshire, but his effort did little to help him break through in a crowded field. He failed to poll much higher than 1 percent in the state, and had little on the ground support or big name endorsements.

Still, Graham was among the more joyful contenders in this year's race. NHPR spent several days on the trail with Graham in October and filed this report, with Graham hitting bingo halls, state fairs and shooting ranges. 

"It's a lot of work," we reported. "But Graham sure seems to be having fun doing it."

In one memorable moment, Graham persuaded NHPR reporter Paige Sutherland to test her shooting skills at a gun maker in Keene. 

Graham also spent an hour speaking with NHPR's Laura Knoy for The Exchange, where he discussed how his foreign policy positions differed from other GOP candidates, among other topics..

Graham had a frequent companion on his many trips to New Hampshire: Sen. John McCain, a two-time winner of the state's Republican presidential primary and close friend of Graham's. The pair hit town halls, corner stores and bingo halls across the state in an effort to lift Graham's candidacy. This summer, NHPR's Brady Carlson described McCain's lingering bond with Granite State voters -- and Graham's attempts to benefit from it.

"Graham's campaign is similar to McCain's earlier White House bids in many ways," Carlson reports. "But this year, he's just one of a number of Republican candidates modeling their campaigns on the McCain model."