More than $42 million in "independent expenditures" has been spent on 12 Congressional races in Illinois, according to totals compiled by the Federal Election Commission.
Competitive races in the 8th, 10th, 11th and 17th congressional districts have attracted the most money.
The independent expenditures come from congressional PACS associated with the Republican and Democratic parties and from PACS and SuperPacs in which the money trial is harder to follow.
The money has been free flowing and on this day -- October 31st -- in a matter of hours the total jumped from just over $39 million to $42.4 million.
DePaul University political science professor Mike Mezey said he is not surprised by the amount of money being spent. Two years ago five republicans ousted five democrats. Both parties are spending freely to either keep the status quo or change the balance in Congress.
Only one other state -- California -- has attracted more money.
Much of the money is used for negative advertising but Mezey says the purpose of the ads may not be what you think.
"Negative advertising’s primary function is to energize the base," he said
Totals as of Halloween in some of the more competitive races:
- Joe Walsh (R) vs. Tammy Duckworth (D) 8th CD: $5.4 million;
- Bob Dold (R) vs. Brad Schneider (D) 10th CD: $6.4 million;
- Judy Biggert (R) vs. Bill Foster (D) 11th CD; $8-million;
- Bobby Schilling (R) vs. Cheri Bustos (D) 17th CD; $19.1 million