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%)