Yesterday at midnight was the Q3 fundraising deadline for the Illinois race for U.S. Senate. Over the next 15 days, we will see where the various contenders are in the quest for campaign cash.
Congressman Mark Kirk has predicted that this will be a $20 million ante to carry the GOP candidate through the general election. Who can raise that kind of cash, besides Kirk? Well, the Q3 reports will tell us if anyone else even has a chance.
Oh, by the way, "commitments" don't count. They don't show up on the balance sheet, and if your supposed 'supporters' have given you nothing but a promise, not only is it unclear if that cash will ever truly materialize, you can't spend a promise today on advertising, materials, campaign salaries, etc.
Most likely, the successful candidates will trumpet their results well in advance of the October 15th disclosure deadline, so I am waiting with great interest to see how the GOP contenders (as well as the Democratic candidates, for that matter) did.
UPDATED: Cap Fax Blog is reporting that Da Coach has endorsed Pat Hughes. Well, if Mike Ditka sends a few million dollars along with the endorsement, it would help Hughes catch up in the fundraising department, but somehow I doubt that's going to happen.
UPDATED x2: TA hears that GOP 10th Congressional District candidate Bob Dold was very pleased with his fundraising numbers for Q3, having blown past several internal benchmarks that the campaign increased over the course of the quarter. We'll have actual numbers for you as soon as they are released. (TA's note: someone questioned in comments if this post meant that I'm 'for Dold'. TA has not yet picked a horse in the 10th CD race. TA's policy is that we will pick up newsworthy, generally positive tidbits about the GOP contenders, either from the street, news sources, or directly from the various campaigns if they want to send me stuff. Nothing I write should imply an endorsement of any GOP candidate unless I expressly say so. Thanks.)
UPDATED x3: Cap Fax Blog noted the first of many official fundraising announcements to come in IL-10, this one from Dem Julie Hamos for $545,000. Let's see if she cleaned Dan Seals' clock.
UPDATED x4 8:00 a.m. 10/2/09: Looks like Pat Hughes' announcement of da coach's endorsement didn't get much traction given that Chicago is obsessively focused with the Olympic announcement today -- or is it because no one really cared? One might suggest that Ditka is a bit overexposed with restaurants, pork chop sauce, wine and his own lingerie football team (hey, how's that for promoting 'conservative' values???).
I didn't see any evening news coverage last night (let me know if I missed it), and only a few short stories (here, here) in the MSM are showing up. I agree with Marathon Pundit that it was a very odd choice of a day to make such an announcement, especially since the real value in paring Ditka's name with Hughes is not because Ditka is going to influence anyone's vote for U.S. Senate -- it's simply for the name recognition that Hughes is desperate to establish and can't afford to get any other way. Is this another a sign of Hughes' lack of political experience? If you don't have any political experience, as Hughes does not, you're going to contend it's not necessary, but it shows up in the execution of a campaign in rookie moves like this.