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Lisa Madigan opening door to Senate bid; more focused on governor race

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WASHINGTON--When I talked to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan a few weeks ago, she told me she was interested only in running for governor--not the U.S. Senate. Madigan now is open to changing her mind, several people told me.

She is getting some encouragement from Washington Democrats, who view Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) as very vunerable. On Monday, Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post had the scoop about Madigan's newfound interest in the Senate. Madigan talked to Sun-Times Michael Sneed about her change of heart.

Last month Madigan and Sweet:

Thinking about the Senate? I asked.

"Never given it any serious consideration, Lynn," Madigan said.

But you are considering running for governor?

"Correct," Madigan said.

Since then, Madigan has had a retreat in her Chicago campaign office with her advisers, including media consultant Saul Shorr and pollster Celinda Lake. And since then, she has said the Senate is an option.

The other Democrats mulling a run are Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Illinois treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Sen. Roland Burris, Merchandise Mart mogul Chris Kennedy and Urban League Chief Cheryl Jackson.

A poll May 7 taken by a Republican interest, shows Schakowsky ahead and Chris Kennedy, the son of Sen. Robert Kennedy, surprisingly lacking in name ID.

FROM THE GOP POLL....

Q. If the Democratic Primary election for United States Senate were held today and the candidate were Jan Schakowsky, Chris Kennedy, Roland Burris and Alexi Giannoulias, for whom would you vote?

- 20.0 Jan Schakowsky

- 16.4 Alexi Giannoulias

- 15.9 Roland Burris

- 12.7 Chris Kennedy

- 35.0 Undecided

Q. If the general election for United States Senate were held today, which one of the following best describes how you are likely to vote between Mark Kirk, the Republican candidate and Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic candidate?

- 34.2 Mark Kirk

- 33.2 Alexi Giannoulias

- 32.6 Undecided

Q. If the general election for United States Senate were held today, which one of the following best describes how you are likely to vote between Mark Kirk, the Republican candidate and Chris Kennedy, the Democratic candidate?

- 33.2 Mark Kirk

- 32.6 Chris Kennedy

- 34.2 Undecided


Q. If you knew that each of the following statements about Chris Kennedy were true, would each make you more likely or less likely to vote for Chris Kennedy for United States Senate? If each would make no difference, just say so.
"Chris Kennedy is the son of Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy"

- 24.6 More Likely

- 20.2 Less Likely

- 50.2 No Difference

Q. Now, I am going to read you a list of names. Will you please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of each person? If you have no opinion or have never heard of the person, just say so. "Chris Kennedy"

- 15.8 Favorable

- 4.8 Unfavorable

- 26.0 No Opinion
- 53.4 Never Heard Of

May 7 poll of Illinois 500 likely voters (+/-4.4%)

5 Comments

How many seats does Lisa Madigan want to run for?
Maybe she should run for all of them at one time and be the Business Manager of the State or made crowned Princess. This is not about power is it?

How many seats does Lisa Madigan want to run for?
Maybe she should run for all of them at one time and be the Business Manager of the State or made crowned Princess. This is not about power is it?

Why do politicians think that their offspring should follow in their footsteps? Given the quality of politicians we have now in Illinois and the U.S. Capitol, and genetics being what it is, will the child be any different from the parent? Or is this just a ploy to stay in control after you figure the general public has grown tired of you? We're just as tired of your children, too.

Please, some fresh ideas, fresh faces and honorable performance would be a refreshing changes in all elected offices.

What has Lisa madigan done for the people of the state of Illinois?

Maybe this is why Kirk is too afraid to declare a run for the senate. He announced that he would announce on May 1, which came and went without any declaration. Notice, in the GOP poll above, they conveniently only publish the results that are to their liking, since Lisa Madigan has creamed Kirk in every poll, for both senate and governor. It looks to me as if Kirk has a steep hill to climb with his name recognition and favorability hovering near Kennedy's, even after 10 years in office. By voting so consistently against the Obama agenda, he's not endeared himself to the independents in his district, let alone the rest of the state. He's the party of 'No', and Illinois is more blue than ever! And can he really afford to have his dirty laundry aired?

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 12, 2009 3:40 PM.

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