A new Reboot Illinois/We As America poll shows that Democratic Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has a 24-point lead over her Republican challenger, Paul Schimpf. That's a significant jump from leads in two earlier polls -- 16 points in June and 17 in July.
The lone bright spot for Schimpf, a longtime attorney in the U.S. Marine Corps who now practices law in downstate Waterloo, was his showing among downstate respondents, where he led Madigan by a margin of 45-38.
Outside of the downstate lead, there were few bright spots for Schimpf elsewhere in the poll. A deficit of less than 1 percentage point in the collar counties in the June 16 poll has opened to a 14-point lead in the new poll for Madigan. Madigan held a 45-point lead in suburban Cook County and led Schimpf 82-8 among Chicago voters in the poll taken Sept. 3, unofficially considered the first real week of the campaign season.
Libertarian candidate Ben Koyl was included in Wednesday's poll for the first time after securing a spot on the November ballot, which may help explain the widening gap between two major-party candidates. Koyl offers another choice for more conservative voters who may otherwise lean Republican.
Another Democratic incumbent, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, had a favorable showing in the same Reboot Illinois/We Ask America poll. He currently holds a 35-point lead over his Republican challenger Mike Webster, a lawyer and the president of Cass School Distrcit #63. A Libertarian, Christopher Michel, also was recently added to the ballot in this race. If White wins, it would be his fifth term in the office, the most of any Illinois Secretary of State.