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Photo: Nathan Ouellette/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina Senate candidate Jaime Harrison's campaign announced Sunday it raised $57 million in the third quarter of 2020, shattering the quarterly fundraising record for a Senate race set by Beto O'Rourke in 2018 by almost $20 million.

Why it matters: Harrison's massive fundraising hauls have fueled his run to unseat Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close ally of President Trump who is now facing the most competitive re-election race of his career. The outcome of the South Carolina contest could be pivotal in determining control of the Senate.

The state of play: Recent polling has indicated that the race is virtually tied. Graham and Harrison both received 48% of the vote in a Quinnipiac poll published in September.

By the numbers: Harrison's campaign said it received 1.5 million donations from 994,000 donors, with an average of $37 per gift. The campaign has raised $86 million total this cycle.

What they're saying: “This campaign is making history, because we’re focused on restoring hope back to South Carolina,” Guy King, Harrison's campaign spokesperson said.

  • “While Lindsey Graham continues playing political games in Washington, Jaime Harrison is remaining laser-focused on the real issues impacting people here — like healthcare, broadband access, and COVID relief for businesses and families."
  • "After 25 years in Washington, Lindsey Graham has changed into someone voters no longer recognize, and these resources will be instrumental in our efforts to send Lindsey home in November.”

Go deeper: Lindsey Graham refuses to take COVID test for S.C. Senate debate

Go deeper

Inside the West Wing: Trump didn't want to go back to Georgia

Trump at a rally in Georgia on Dec. 5. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

With his anger rising at Georgia officials, President Trump resisted going back to the Peach State after his first runoff rally on Dec. 5.

Behind the scenes: He told advisers he didn't think he needed to go back. Both candidates, Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, put in a huge behind-the-scenes effort to get him to go back. He plugged them during his Monday rally, but also ranted about the state's Republican officials and election machinery.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 mins ago - Economy & Business

Merger Monday has been overrun by SPACs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Five companies this morning announced plans to go public via reverse mergers with SPACs, at an aggregate market value of more than $15 billion. And there might be even more by the time you read this.

The bottom line: SPAC merger activity hasn't peaked. If anything, it's just getting started.

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.