(Chicago, IL) — November 2, 2010. As other Illinois Democrats struggle with Republican and Independent voter anger, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Secretary of State Jesse White are crushing their opponents as they cruise to re-election with strong support from both voting groups, according to a recent poll.
Despite the pummeling to which GOP candidates and editorial pages have subjected House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), the Attorney General’s father, large chunks of rank and file Independent and Republican voters have brushed off the shrill demonization of the elder Madigan. The Attorney General has the backing 35% of Republicans and 72% heading into today’s elections, according to the October 23, 2010 poll by the Chicago Tribune.
Overall, Madigan, who is seeking her third term, is leading her GOP opponent, Steve Kim, 69% to 21%, the survey says.
White is matching Madigan’s performance with Independent voters and exceeding Madigan’s support from the GOP. White has the backing of 71% of Independents and 46% of Republicans–3 points higher than his GOP opponent, Robert Enriquez, who had yet to firm up his partisan base, the poll says. Among all voters, White is beating Enriquez 72% to 18%.
Democratic strategists point to the strong position of both Madigan and White and argue that Illinois voters–particularly Independents–are not adopting a knee-jerk, anti-Democratic posture across the board, making a case why Speaker Madigan will maintain control of the House after today’s voting.
“The polling data tells us that voters are making more nuanced choices than Republicans would have you believe,” said a Democratic strategist with close ties to Illinois House Democrats. “They are embracing some Democrats and rejecting others based on individual candidate assessments, and at the end of the day we think that pattern will play out further down the ballot.”
As voters move down the ballot today, Madigan and White may play a crucial role in breaking the GOP tide, protecting candidates further down the ballot.
Whatever the final outcome on Tuesday, the expected win by Attorney General Madigan–with Independent and GOP support–will only enhance the Madigan brand that Illinois Republicans have worked so tirelessly to tarnish.