She is in third place in cash on hand in the special election to replace Jackson, who resigned in November. That puts her well behind former state Rep. Robin Kelly (D), who had just shy of $200,000 at the end of the year, and Illinois state Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D), who had $130,000.

On top of that, she's become a recent target of the deep-pocketed gun control super-PAC backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), which has already spent heavily on television advertising against her. While Halvorson had led in early internal polls from her opponents, it will be interesting to see how well she can weather the storm of constant attacks from them and Bloomberg's group with no money to defend herself.