The few independent polls on the Illinois U.S. Senate race suggest a dead heat between the two major party candidates. But when it comes to fundraising Republican Mark Kirk is the far and away frontrunner.
Alexi Giannoulias acknowledges recent problems raising cash, but promised he'll do better. Democrat Giannoulias -- who raised only $900,000 during the second quarter -- says part of the reason is that he does not accept contributions from the political action committees sponsored by for-profit corporations.
"At the end of the day, I want to make sure that I am beholden to no federal lobbyists, no corporate special interests," said Alexi Giannoulias, (D) U.S. Senate Candidate.
But the state treasurer also conceded that his fundraising efforts were hampered during April and May before and after the Giannoulias family-owned Broadway Bank was taken over by federal regulators.
As the third quarter began earlier this month, Giannoulias notified the Federal Election Commission his campaign coffers contained $1 million. His Republican opponent, North Shore Congressman Mark Kirk had about $4 million.
"Congressman Kirk has raised over $1.5 million from Wall Street interests and has voted twice against Wall Street reform. Twice," said Giannoulias.
A spokeswoman for Kirk, who voted against the Obama administration's Wall Street reform bill in the House, said 85-percent of donations to the republican were made by individuals.
She also pointed out that Giannoulias accepts money from pacts sponsored by organized labor, some members of which protested the congressman's vote on Wall Street reform outside his Northbrook office Thursday afternoon.
Giannoulias' second quarter fundraising efforts fell short despite help from the White House, which included campaign visits during June by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Vice President Joe Biden. The democratic candidate said he was not worried about getting the money he needed to run his campaign to the finish.
"I can unequivocally promise you that we will have the resources not only to compete but to win this race," said Giannoulias.
Congressman Kirk--who was unavailable earlier Thursday-- has a fundraiser in Chicago later this evening featuring actor Gary Sinise. A Kirk spokeswoman said the congressman had no problem raising money in June at the height of the controversy over his military record.