It's possible that Republicans will bolster their numbers in the Senate for what's expected to be a contentious lame-duck session after the November vote.
An Illinois judge has ruled the state's general election Senate candidates will also appear on the special-election ballot for the remainder of President Obama's Senate term.
From the Chicago Tribune:
That means Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, Republican Mark Kirk and Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones will appear on the ballot for the short-term vacancy as well as seeking the full six-year term. It also means they can raise double the current $2,400 federal cap on individual donations because they are running in an additional election.
In an attempt to prevent a drop-off in voter interest, [U.S. District Judge John] Grady's order requires that the ballot list candidates for the full six-year term first, then list candidates for the short-term vacancy beneath.
The judge's ruling also keeps Sen. Roland Burris’s (D-Ill.) name off the ballot. He was thought to be considering running in the special election to serve out the remainder of the term. His lawyers are considering an appeal, the Tribune reported.
The interim senator is expected to serve only about 38 days, but that could be enough to influence the Democrats' legislative agenda if they lose the seat.