Now that campaign staffers are enjoying Presidents Day, it's a good time to reflect on how U.S. Senate candidates fared during the primary election.
Those candidates didn't need to file their year-end reports until Jan. 31, more than 10 days later than the rest of the statewide candidates. Now, we have information from Oct. 1 through mid-January for all of the major candidates.
And no one came out a bigger winner than Republican Senate hopeful Mark Kirk.
Kirk, a North Shore congressman who benefited from an early crowning as party favorite, raised $4.8 million through Jan. 13. He spent $1.7 million during the same period.
Kirk entered the general election with nearly $3.2 million cash on hand.
That last figure is going to make life difficult for Alexi Giannoulias, the Illinois treasurer who picked up the Democratic ticket.
Giannoulias raised $3.6 million through Jan. 13.
But during the same period he spent $2.6 million in a tough primary fight against David Hoffman.
That left him with $963,335 on hand.
The disparity between Kirk's leftover money and Giannoulias' means the Democrat will have a lot of catching up to do in the coming months, as he tries to outraise an intense Republican push to fill President Barack Obama's old seat with a member of the GOP.
But Kirk will also need to get used to a real fight, given that Patrick Hughes, his opponent in the GOP primary, raised just $517,693 during the most recent reporting period.
Hughes spent $493,212. By Jan. 13, his campaign owed $247,000, a sum more than 10 times as large as his $22,561 leftover cash.
The winning Democrat faced a competitor with deeper pockets.
While Hoffman, Chicago's former inspector general, came up short against Giannoulias in the election, he raised $2.2 million through Jan. 13, spending $1.4 million. He owed $1 million by the end of that reporting period. The campaign had $738,930 on hand.
Hoffman was always well ahead of Democrat Cheryle Jackson in terms of fund raising, even when Jackson, the president of the Chicago Urban League, was ahead in polls.
She raised $717,782 through Jan. 13 and spent $530,973. By then, she had $176,006 left over, a nice bit of cash that likely helped her pay off a minor debt of $5,373.
Jacob Meister, the attorney who threw his support behind Alexi Giannoulias on the last weekend of the campaign, had heftier debt. He owed more than $1 million by Jan. 13, and apparently, he spent more than he raised: Meister's report shows a negative figure in the cash-on-hand column, $37,847.
He raised $1.6 million and spent $493,130 from Oct. 1 through Jan. 13.