When it comes to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's all-but-inevitable run for governor in 2014, her biggest obstacle may not be current Gov. Pat Quinn or any of her challengers whether they be Democratic or Republican.
According to a new poll released Wednesday and conducted in April on behalf of former White House chief of staff Bill Daley's campaign, Madigan is polling well with voters -- except for when information is presented to them painting her candidacy as a conflict of interest given her father Mike Madigan's role as House Speaker and, arguably, the state's most powerful Democrat.
According to the poll, 54 percent of likely 2014 general election voters statewide have a favorable personal opinion of Lisa Madigan. Madigan, too, has a large edge over Republican State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who was used as a placeholder candidate in the poll.
In followup questioning, however, poll respondents were told that her theoretical election as governor and her father not subsequently retiring or resigning would "create a major conflict of interest to have family members running both branches of state government." As a result, the Madigan-Rutherford matchup moved to a tie and 70 percent of voters agreed they shared either a "serious" or "somewhat of a concern" that such a conflict would "put too much power in one family's hands."
Of course, the wording of the poll's "conflict of interest" prompt is massively leading, but pollster John Anzalone told the Chicago Sun-Times he didn't think the prompt was "anything in the extreme. We’re not making the argument that mimics paid communication."
The poll also fails to note how Daley is polling, as the Capitol Fax blog points out.
While Lisa Madigan has yet to formally announce a gubernatorial bid, she has repeatedly said she is "seriously considering" running for the office. As of April 1, she had $4.1 million in the bank, markedly more than any of her likely rivals.