Republicans are pledging $3.4 million to help Mark Kirk win both the regular race for Senate and the special election that could make him the 42nd GOP vote six weeks early.
That’s $1.7 million for each race — both to be decided on Nov. 2 — double what the National Republican Senatorial Committee would be able to contribute otherwise.
“We are grateful for the NRSC’s strong support for Congressman Kirk,” Kirk spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said.
Polls show the race between Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias to be a virtual dead heat.
Kirk led in the polls earlier this year while the focus was on problems with Giannoulias’ family’s Broadway Bank, which was seized and sold by federal regulators.
The $3.4 million will buy a lot of ads to remind voters that the bank Giannoulias was vice president of gave loans to mobsters.
The ruling earlier this month requiring a special election for the weeks left in the current term could double the money and the attack ads in the race. The same candidates are running in the regular and special elections.