Club for Growth Puts Sen. Lindsey Graham in Its Cross Hairs

Conservative Club for Growth says it wants Graham knocked off in 2014 primary.

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In the 2012 election season, the powerful, conservative Super PAC Club for Growth was on the winning end of a slew of critical primaries.

And the group's president Chris Chocola says its never too early to start identifying 2014's targets.

Club for Growth supports economically conservative candidates, keeps score on who is supporting its pro-growth policies on the hill, and zeroes in on those Republicans who stray from conservative dogma.

"If you're looking to the horizon for 2014, the sun may rise over South Carolina," Chocola says. "There's no question that there's a lot of interest in the South Carolina senate race Republican primary."

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

Chocola says Lindsey Graham's been a little too free wielding with American taxpayers' dollars.

"Lindsey Graham has not fared well on our score cards," Chocola says. "But we'll see what the race is. You need to have something better to offer to be able to engage there."

Graham's popularity among his constituents is also slipping.

A PPP poll earlier this year showed that 42 percent of South Carolinians wanted a more conservative Senator in the seat. And a majority said they'd like to see Rep. Joe Wilson challenge Graham in the primary.Club for Growth has become a powerful voice in veering Republicans to the far right on economic issues.

One of its biggest successes unfolded in Texas where Republican primary candidate Ted Cruz began his race with 2 percent support in the polls against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and ended up winning the nomination just months later. [Club for Growth Chief 'Uncertain' on Mitt Romney.]

Club for Growth poured $5 million into the Texas Senate primary on Cruz's behalf.

The group also played a key role in the Republican primary in Indiana where they put their money behind Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Mourdock defeated 30-year incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar.

Chocola says the club's goal isn't to elect Republicans, but to elect budget-slashing, deficit-reducing leaders.[Rand Paul Fillbuster on Pakistan Aid Could Force Senate into Overtime.]

"Look, every member of Congress is an independent contractor—they can vote how they want," Chocola says. "It is up to them to decide what the consequence of that vote is."