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Miller: Lisa Madigan poll numbers bad news for Quinn, Daley

Updated: March 5, 2013 6:24AM



You probably won’t be surprised to learn that a poll taken Jan. 30 of 1,255 likely Illinois Democratic primary voters shows Attorney General Lisa Madigan leading Gov. Pat Quinn by a very large margin.

Madigan also leads Quinn and former White House chief of staff Bill Daley in a three-way contest, according to the poll, but Quinn leads Daley in a one-on-one race.

And a large plurality of Democrats disapprove of the governor’s job performance. The We Ask America Poll has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent. About 18 percent of the results came from non-landline users.

In the poll, Madigan leads Quinn by 25 points, 51 percent to 26 percent. Among women, who almost always comprise a majority of Democratic primary election voters, Madigan’s lead is 53-22, while she leads among men 46-30.

Madigan’s lead over Quinn in Chicago is 46 percent to 30 percent and it’s 51-28 in suburban Cook County, while she leads Quinn 53-23 in the suburban collar counties and by a massive 53-21 downstate, according to the poll.

Madigan has not yet decided whether she’s going to run for governor. People close to her are divided over what they think she will do. She reportedly plans to take her time with her decision.

A Public Policy Polling survey taken in November had Madigan leading Quinn 64-20, but that poll was of just 319 “usual” Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percent.

Still, PPP does excellent work, so if you average the two polls you get a 57 percent to 23 percent lead for Madigan over the governor. If Madigan’s decision is heavily weighted toward whether she can win the primary, she will give it a go.

Quinn has a better shot against Daley — a white, Irish Democrat from Chicago who may not bring much more to the table than Dan Hynes did in the 2010 primary.

According to the We Ask America poll, Quinn leads Daley by five points, 38 percent to 33 percent. November’s PPP survey had Daley leading Quinn 37-34, so average those two results and you get an essential tie at 36 for Quinn and 35 for Daley.

We Ask America found that Quinn leads Daley in the city 45-30, but Daley leads in suburban Cook 40-36. Quinn has a narrow half-point lead in the collar counties and leads by less than two percentage points downstate. The Daley name ain’t what it used to be.

Could Daley be a spoiler who helps Quinn in a three-way race? Not according to the We Ask America poll. It says Madigan leads a three-way contest with 37 percent to Quinn’s 20 percent and Daley’s 15. Public Policy Polling did not test a three-way race in November.

Madigan’s lead among women in a three-way contest is pretty big. She gets 38 percent to 17 for Quinn and 13 for Daley. Among men, her lead is a bit smaller at 34 percent to Quinn’s 24 and Daley’s 18.

Madigan leads Quinn and Daley in Chicago by 35 percent to 22 to 17. Her lead in suburban Cook is 35-18-18. She leads 36-17-16 in the collars and is ahead by a very big 40-19-11 downstate.

Public Policy Polling had Quinn’s job approval rating among Democrats at 40 percent, with a 43 percent disapproval. Last week’s We Ask America poll had Quinn’s approval among Dems at 37 percent, with a 42 percent disapproval.

Women give the governor a slightly lower disapproval rating than men — 41 percent of women disapprove, 46 percent of men. But just 36 percent of Democratic women and 37 percent of Democratic men approve of the way Quinn is handling his job.

Quinn won the 2010 primary and general elections despite low approval ratings. So, he’s been here before.

What he didn’t have to do back then, however, was take on one of the most popular politicians in Illinois. PPP’s November poll pegged Lisa Madigan’s favorable rating at 68 percent among Democrats, while just 16 percent had an unfavorable view of her.

If Madigan runs, she likely wins the primary election. Daley is another story. Like 2010, a Daley-Quinn race will be a hard-fought and bloody battle that could end up being pretty close.

If Quinn has to get a single primary opponent, Daley is the one he wants.

Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.



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