COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham won South Carolina's Republican primary outright on Tuesday, defeating six tea party challengers who cast him as not conservative enough for this heavily Republican state.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Graham, 58, had about 56 percent of the vote, far more than what was needed to avoid a runoff. State Sen. Lee Bright came in second, with about 15 percent.

Graham, who has been in office since 2002, had a hefty fundraising advantage: He has raised more than $12 million since his last re-election bid in 2008, while none of his opponents passed the $1 million mark.

Although Graham had no trouble dispatching his tea party challengers and their attacks that he wasn't conservative enough, other longtime Republican lawmakers have not had such good fortune.

In Mississippi, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran is facing a runoff with tea-party-backed state Sen. Chris McDaniel later this month after both finished just shy of the 50 percent of votes needed to win outright. And in Virginia, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor — the No. 2 Republican in the chamber — was dealt a crushing defeat by little known tea partyer Dave Brat, a college professor with no political experience.

However, Graham has been among President Barack Obama's harshest critics on foreign policy. He and fellow Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire have called the president's plan to withdraw virtually all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by 2016 a short-sighted mistake that would embolden America's enemies.

Meanwhile, Graham's fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott won his primary by a wide margin, setting the stage for South Carolina to elect a black person to the U.S. Senate for the first time.

Scott was appointed to the seat in 2012 after Sen. Jim DeMint stepped down, and the general election winner will serve the remainder of DeMint's term.

The Democrats had two primaries of their own, though it's widely expected that the Senate seats will remain in Republican hands.

State Sen. Brad Hutto won the nomination for Graham's seat, while Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson was nominated to face Scott.