Duckworth gets fundraising assist from Obama during Chicago visit

CHICAGO -- The president spent the weekend in his hometown, including courting wealthy donors Sunday, while others ventured to the South Shore neighborhood hoping for a chance to see him.

Chicagoans lined Stony Island Ave. hoping to catch a glimpse of the presidential motorcade.

“I was hoping to see him run by or maybe just wave,” Darje Gunn said. She brought her children to see if they could get a glimpse of the commander in chief.

Others had a message for the president, including a union group that was calling on the president to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a controversial trade agreement.

But the president himself was there to campaign, making an appearance at a fundraiser for democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth. Wealthy donors paid anywhere from $1,000 to nearly $13,000 to attend. The top tier donors attended a VIP reception and had a photo opportunity.

Duckworth is facing incumbent Republican Mark Kirk but appears to be in a strong position less than a month from Election Day. This week, Duckworth’s campaign announced it had raised $4.1 million in the third quarter.  Kirk’s campaign has not released its fundraising numbers yet. The latest poll released this week from Southern Illinois University has Duckworth ahead 48% to 34%.

Kirk’s campaign responded to the presidential fundraiser in a statement saying:

"The Illinois Senate race between Senator Mark Kirk and Tammy Duckworth remains a statistical tie. Illinois voters respect Senator Kirk's thoughtful, independent leadership and that's why he is leading among independent voters and continues to significantly outperform Donald Trump."

Kirk said he will be hitting the campaign trail this week with a statewide bus tour.