Menendez: Obama's former Senate seat is the 'ultimate political trophy' for GOP

In a last-minute fundraising appeal, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) warned that capturing President Obama's former Senate seat would be the "ultimate political trophy" for Republicans in 2010. 

"Nothing would give them more bragging rights than winning this seat," Menendez wrote in a fundraising e-mail Tuesday. "Polling shows we're in a dead heat, and your gift now will help level the playing field in this and other important races." 

Campaign committees are in the midst of a last-minute flurry of fundraising appeals to get as much in their coffers ahead of the monthly fundraising deadline.

Polls show Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) locked in a tight battle for the president's former Senate seat. The latest Rasmussen poll has the race tied 45-45.  

Obama held a fundraiser for Giannoulias earlier this month to help cut into the financial lead Kirk held at the end of the second quarter. The Republican raised $2.3 million during the second quarter to the $900,000 raised by Giannoulias. 

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