In a last-minute fundraising appeal, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Poll finds little support for Menendez reelection Judge tells Menendez lawyer to 'shut up' MORE (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 KirkMark KirkStale, misguided, divisive: minimum wage can't win elections Immigration critics find their champion in Trump Trump's nominee to lead USAID has the right philosophy on international aid MORE (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.