Copyright 2014 Reboot Illinois

When she ran for her third term in 2010, Attorney General Lisa Madigan breezed to victory — better than doubling the vote total of her Republican challenger, Steve Kim.

Four years earlier, she  tripled the vote total of her opponent, Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz. The final tally in that contest was Madigan 72 percent, Umholtz 24 percent.  Madigan’s only competitive election for attorney general was her first, in 2002, when she defeated DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett 50 percent to 47 percent.

Thus Madigan has developed a reputation as a solid candidate.

Today, a Reboot Illinois poll, conducted June 16 by We Ask America, indicates that Madigan’s reputation is deserved.

The poll, which has a margin of error of 3.06 percentage points, asked 1,023 likely voters the following question: “There are two candidates running for Illinois Attorney General: Democrat Lisa Madigan and Republican Paul Schimpf. If the election for Attorney General were held today, for whom would you vote?”

In the survey’s broadest category, Madigan registered a sizable lead among all respondents, leading Schimpf 51 to 35 percent.


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Madigan was the overwhelming favorite among female respondents, who preferred her  by a 55-30 margin. By contrast, the candidates split the male vote almost evenly.

The only region of the state where Madigan did not have a lead was downstate, where Schimpf held a 42-40 lead. Madigan garnered 74 percent of the Chicago vote to Schimpf’s 11 percent and nearly doubled up on Schimpf in suburban Cook County.

Another Reboot Illinois poll on June 16 showed four-term Democratic Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White with strong numbers against his Republican challenger, Mike Webster, a Willowbrook attorney and CPA.

“Lisa Madigan’s numbers are incredibly strong in Chicago and substantial in suburban Cook. Her numbers among women voters remain high, but she splits the Independent vote in a year that some national prognosticators feel will be good for Republicans,” said We Ask America Chief Operating Officer Gregg Durham. “While GOP challenger Paul Schimpf does compete in the Collar Counties and downstate, Madigan’s funding advantage and skilled campaign team will make it hard for him to close the gap. Still, this race deserves to stay on our radar.”

Poll results are below. The charts are interactive. Click the tabs to see results sorted by party identification, gender and location of respondents.

Also worth noting is that Madigan’s strong showing comes after a year in which her father, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, has endured considerable bad press that began a year ago with a scandal involving clout hiring at the Metra suburban commuter rail line.

Lisa Madigan had been weighing a run for governor, but backed out last summer after her father said he would not give up his current office if she ran. Polling at the time indicated that Lisa Madigan’s gubernatorial bid would have been harmed by her father’s continued presence as speaker — a position he has held for all but two years since 1983 and which has helped make him the most powerful politician in the state.

Poll results are below. The charts are interactive. Click the tabs to see results sorted by party identification, gender and location of respondents.

From the pollster:

We Ask America’s automated polls are conducted using our proprietary lists of Illinois voters. Each person responded to identical pre-recorded questions although in some cases the options are rotated to assure no preference of order is involved.  Cell phones users who have volunteered to answer our poll questions are included; others in that category may be contacted through a variety of proprietary methods.

Our sampling methodology ensures that We Ask America poll results are “projectable,” meaning that if every voter in a given geography participated, the results would not differ from the reported poll results by more than the stated margin of error (±3.06%) 95 percent of the time.

We Ask America adheres to the principles, ethics and guidelines of the American Association of Public Opinion Research.

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