Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan decided last year not to run for a promotion to either Senator or Governor. With her party's candidates trailing in both of those races that decision is hurting Democrats even more now than it did at the time. And our newest poll finds that Madigan is more popular than Alexi Giannoulias and Pat Quinn- combined.
49% of Illinois voters have a favorable opinion of Madigan to 23% who view her unfavorably and 28% with no opinion. With Pat Quinn's approval at 25% and Alexi Giannoulias' favorability at 21% those are some pretty impressive numbers.
Democratic voters don't have the same reticence about Madigan that they do about their current nominees, viewing her favorably by a 64/12 margin. She's also very popular with independents, who like her by a 49/20 spread. And even Republicans like her more than they do most officials of the opposite party, viewing her unfavorably only 42/28.
It seems safe to say that Madigan would be well ahead if she had chosen to run for one of these offices, and that her presence at the top of the ticket would be helping Democrats across the board. But there's not much point in thinking about what might have been- unless Alexi Giannoulias' situation gets so untenable he has to drop out, in which case it seems a safe bet Madigan will again be at the top of the list for Democratic leaders as they seek a replacement.
Full results here