The battle to be Illinois's Second Senator has early warning signs of a Coakley redux.
Despite the best fundraising efforts of Democrats, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mark Kirk raised nearly twice as much money in the first quarter of 2010 than his rival, Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
Giannoulias raised $1.2 million, according to his campaign, while Kirk, a North Shore congressman, raised $2.2 million. The men are fighting to take over Barack Obama's old seat.
Giannoulias' take marked the Democrats' best fundraising quarter to date. But Kirk's success marks another challenge for the Giannoulias campaign, which is working to improve Giannoulias' image amid disclosures his family' bank may fail.
Neither candidate has filed electronically with the Federal Election Comission, a move that would allow the public to have easier access to campaign finance reports as soon as they are filed with the agency.
Kathleen Strand, Giannoulias' campaign spokeswoman, says the campaign will file its paper report on Thursday. Spokespeople for Kirk's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Giannoulias has said that he is not taking money from corporate political action committees or federal lobbyists, and his campaign says that, as well as a primary battle with David Hoffman, led to a slow fundraising start in the general election.
Giannoulias is not only losing the money battle thus far, but has been hampered by the Chicago Tribune consistently bringing up his family's banking woes as well. On the flip side the Tribune never, nor will they ever, run any articles about Kirk's voting history during the Bush years. I doubt they will even approach Kirk's call for health care reform's repeal. Mark Kirk is the poster boy of what people should NOT want in a senator let alone a representative. You won't hear that from the Trib, but here is my issue....it is Obama's former seat. This shouldn't even be Kirk's to win. The Democrats are hoping Alexi Giannoulias can ride the waves, but if the White House doesn't buck up closer to November this will explode immeasurably and become much worse than Scott Brown's anointing.
And that as they say will be that.
I am Frank Chow and I approved this message