Miller: Lisa Madigan losing ground, Bill Daley gaining in governor polling

In a sign that some truly awful publicity for her father may be hurting her possible gubernatorial bid, Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s poll numbers have plunged in the past several months.

And Bill Daley has considerably improved his standing since he announced his candidacy.

In January, a We Ask America poll had Madigan leading Gov. Pat Quinn in a Democratic primary by 25 percentage points, 51-26. A Public Policy Polling survey taken last November had Madigan stomping Quinn by a whopping 44 points, 64-20.

But the newest Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll, taken Thursday, had Madigan’s lead over Quinn at 11 points, 44-33. That’s still a big lead, but not nearly the cremation many were expecting.

The poll of 1,322 likely Democratic primary voters had a margin of error of plus-minus 2.8 percent. About 22 percent were cellphone users.

It’s possible that House Speaker Michael Madigan may be at least somewhat responsible for his daughter’s slide. He’s clearly wearing the jacket for the General Assembly’s failure to pass pension reform because he’s refusing to compromise with Quinn and Senate President John Cullerton. That stalemate has resulted in some spectacularly bad publicity for the elder Madigan.

“It’s easy to look at these results and assume the governor could easily lose in a primary,” pollster Gregg Durham said last week. “But Mr. Quinn would be a more formidable opponent than these numbers indicate. He’s not only had a history of coming back from atrocious poll numbers, you and I know that any challenger in a gubernatorial campaign is going to face an extra level of scrutiny that won’t be easy to overcome. You never know what that white-hot spotlight will show. Quinn can’t legitimately be viewed as ‘The Walking Dead.’ He’s more a ‘Person of Interest.’”

Lisa Madigan’s lead among Democratic women has dropped considerably since January’s We Ask America poll was taken. Back then, she was ahead of Quinn 53-22. This time around, she’s ahead 47-29. And Quinn has overtaken Madigan among men. Madigan led with men 46-30 in January, but now Quinn is ahead 41-38.

Her lead over Quinn in Chicago also has dropped. January’s lead was 46-30, but now it’s 39-35. She also has lost major ground in suburban Cook County, and Quinn has overtaken her in the collar counties. But downstate is still a huge problem for Quinn, where he trails 56-22, about the same as January’s poll.

Daley announced his candidacy last week, and his poll numbers have improved, at least in the We Ask America poll. In January, Daley trailed Gov. Quinn in a one-on-one matchup by five points, 38-33. But now he leads Quinn 38-37. However, Public Policy Polling had Daley leading Quinn 37-34 last November.

In January, the polling showed Daley trailing the governor by a couple of points among women. He now leads by about 2 points. Daley, the son of a former Chicago mayor and brother of another, was losing among men by eight points in January, but is now tied.

As expected, Quinn is leading Daley among likely black voters, 42-34, and 40-23 among Latinos. Daley does lead Quinn 41-35 among whites, however.

Daley trails Quinn in downstate counties, 38-33, and in Chicago, 39-37. But he leads the governor in suburban Cook, 46-36, and in the collar counties, 39-37.

Daley also has improved his numbers in a three-way contest against Madigan and Quinn, while Madigan has lost some ground.

In January, We Ask America had Madigan at 37 percent to Quinn’s 20 percent and Daley’s 15 percent. The newest poll, however, has Madigan at 32 percent to 21 for Quinn and 22 for Daley.

Daley and Quinn have upped their numbers among Democratic men. In January, it was 34 for Madigan, 24 for Quinn, and 18 for Daley. Now it’s 28-27-24, respectively. Daley also has improved among Democratic women. In January, Madigan led Quinn and Daley 38-17-13, now it’s 35-18-20.

Madigan leads Quinn and Daley in Chicago, 30-25-18, which is below her 35-18-18 advantage in January. Madigan actually trails Daley by a point in suburban Cook and in the collars, but leads big downstate.

Attorney General Madigan is still the favorite, but this may not be a coronation if she decides to run.

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

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