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Friday, September 20, 2002

Run Lisa Run

SJR: Poll finds only one statewide race is close; Birkett, Madigan in statistical tie for attorney general

It's too early to make predictions. But this is a little interesting:

Conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling [and] Research Inc. of Washington, the poll questioned 621 people who said they regularly vote in state elections. The poll was conducted Saturday through Tuesday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

In the race for attorney general, 45 percent of the respondents preferred Birkett, compared with 42 percent for Madigan. Thirteen percent were undecided. With the poll's margin of error, Birkett and Madigan are in a statistical dead heat.

According to the article, Lisa Madigan is well recognized and supported in Chicago and Cook County. Downstate recognition and support are another story. She, like her father, are steeped in Chicago politics and all that entails. She may try to distance herself from her father and his politics. But, in my opinion, downstate voters won't buy it. Of course, there's always the union factor. Downstate union members might just pull it off for Lisa Madigan.

Also, from the article:

Birkett spokesman Steve Binder said the poll shows that Birkett's message is taking root with voters.

"His record, his experience, his tenure as a prosecutor, that message is starting to come across," Binder said. "On the flip side, (voters) are recognizing that his opponent has zero law enforcement experience and has never tried a case in a courtroom. Courtroom experience and prosecutorial experience is the number one factor in this race."

I've heard this said before. Personally, I don't put a lot of stock in whether or not an Illinois attorney general has any trial experience. First of all, how often is the attorney general actually going to get in a courtroom and try a case. I don't know the figures on this, but I bet it's not often, if at all. To me, I would think it would be more about the attorney general's ability to pick and manage a team of trial lawyers.

What I see Birkett's spokesman really saying here is that Birkett has the experience, so he's earned the vote.

Posted by Marie at September 20, 2002 5:43 PM