Sen. Graham's popularity rising with GOP primary voters

Graham's approval rating with primary voters is at 66 percent, with 26 percent disapproving. He leads a generic "more conservative" Republican in the race by 51 to 40 percent, a big jump from the 37 to 52 percent position he was in when the pollster last checked slightly less than a year ago.

Graham's standing jumps when paired against actual Republicans who could theoretically challenge him. He leads Rep. Tim ScottTim ScottCBS News lands Sanders as WHCA dinner guest Department of labor overtime rule is a roadblock to a bright career path Pop superstar Prince dies in Minnesota home MORE (R-S.C.), who may be picked to replace retiring Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), by 54 to 32 percent. He has a 57 to 29 percent edge over Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyCIA to pay 0K in benefits to Benghazi victim's family House panel hears testimony from victims of immigrant crime Benghazi panel getting close, may release report before conventions MORE (R-S.C.), a 64 to 26 percent edge over former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R), a 64 to 20 percent edge over Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) and a 67 to 17 percent lead over state Sen. Tom Davis (R), who many have speculated will challenge Graham but recently told The Hill that he "probably" won't run for the seat.

While many Washington-based conservative groups want to see Graham challenged in the primary, these numbers (along with the possible chance to run for DeMint's seat) hint at why no one has yet signaled they will run against Graham.

The poll of 506 Republican primary voters was conducted from Dec. 7-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

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