W.C. Fields is credited with popularizing the saying, "Never give a sucker an even break."
Well, maybe Congressman Mark Kirk is a fan of classic movies, because he certainly gave no breaks to Dem challenger Dan Seals this afternoon, when Seals attempted to gain some needed momentum and a big press pop by announcing his Second Quarter fundraising results.
Seals waited until late in the afternoon, and then let fly what he must have been sure would be a hugely devastating Q2 fundraising total: $635,000. In fact, over at Progress Illinois, they asked (before Kirk's numbers were released a short time later), "Could it be that many 10th Congressional District voters are starting to sour on GOP Rep. Mark Kirk...?" Yes sir, you could imagine the fist bumps going on at the Aquarium (or whatever they call the Seals headquarters) in a self-congratulatory frenzy. Seals clearly hoped that his number would be extremely impressive, and he would have at least one day of being "the big show" in terms of congressional fundraising news tomorrow.
Well, $635,000 is certainly nothing to sneeze at. But, this game is all relative, folks. And before the Dan Fans got too crazy over themselves, Team Kirk immediately released Kirk's Q2 fundraising total and took all of the wind out of the S.S. Seals.
In a masterstroke of timing, Kirk's camp reported just after Seals put out his numbers that Kirk RAISED OVER $900,000 in Q2!!! For you math-challenged folks (which includes me, I had my seven-year-old work out the math for me), that means that Kirk outraised Seals by over 40%. As commentor DCEyes has already pointed out, this is in a quarter in which Kirk more or less fundraised on his own strength as a candidate, based on his own accomplishments, while Seals brought in all the help he could from Illinois and across the nation, including Michelle Obama, as well as Hoyer (D-MD), Emmanuel (D-IL), Wasserman (D-FL), Durbin (D-IL) and Schakowski (D-IL).
With a fundraising pace that Politico.com labeled "torrid", Kirk is well-positioned to defend his office once more against Seals, whom Kirk beat by 7 points in 2006. In terms of cash-on-hand, Kirk has more than double Seals' bank account, with $2.85 million in the bank, compared to Seals' $1.17 million, according to the Chicago Tribune. Totals for the 2008 election cycle, tellingly, are $3.87 million for Kirk, compared to $2.1 million for Seals.
"I am humbled by the groundswell of grassroots support my campaign received last quarter," Congressman Kirk said. "I am working hard to enact new energy policies that reduce gas prices and get our economy back on track, provide health care access to all Americans, and keep our kids safe from guns, gangs and online predators." Here's the official Kirk press release.
Sorry, Dan, no break for you today. If you've gotten the idea that Mark Kirk is not going to be caught offguard by you again, maybe you are trainable, to some small degree.