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April 29, 2009

Illinois governor trails Madigan in primary

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) trails state Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) by a double-digit margin in a Democratic primary, 45 to 29 percent, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey of the Illinois governor’s race.

The analysis?

Pat Quinn has a 56% approval rating among Illinois voters who say they would likely vote in a Democratic primary next year, with only 14% disapproving. But that level of support still may not be enough to hold off the immense popularity of Lisa Madigan if she decides to challenge him in the primary.

Madigan is viewed favorably by 74% of likely primary voters, and holds a 45-29 lead over Quinn in a possible contest.

Quinn has two basic problems. One is that even among voters who like him, a significant chunk of them like Madigan even more. He leads her just 44-38 with the folks who approve of his job performance. The second is that he's simply not as well known as Madigan. Among the 30% of respondents who don't know enough about him to have formed an opinion, 69% of them have one about Madigan one way or the other and she has a 48-11 lead with those.

This is not to say things are impossible for Quinn. He does get very strong numbers from those who do have an opinion about him and nine more months as Governor before the primary should certainly increase his visibility. But Madigan would still be pretty tough to beat if she decides to make the race.

Madigan has not yet announced her political intentions for 2010, but has expressed interest in challenging Quinn in the primary.