A new poll from Capitol Fax's Rich Miller and We Ask America pegs Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan with an unfavorable rating of 65 percent, placing him a 10 points of negativity above Gov. Pat Quinn, who rated 55 percent in a recent Rasmussen report.
The survey of 836 likely voters, conducted last week, reveals that even Madigan's fellow Democrats view the veteran politician/power broker unfavorably, with 51 percent saying he has been an obstacle to the state's economic recovery. Seventy-seven percent of independents and 73 percent of Republicans share a negative opinion of Madigan.
"Just 20 percent of likely voters had a favorable impression of the longtime House Speaker," states Capitol Fax. "Years of negative publicity, the state’s many, many problems, the Republican Party’s decades-long accusations that he’s holding the state back and Madigan’s historically long tenure are all undoubtedly driving these horrible numbers."
This data, of course, codifies what we already know about Madigan: he'll take no prisoners, nor cede any political ground, at the risk of alienating colleagues, constituents and family. (Case in point: his refusal to step down to make room for his daughter Lisa to challenge Quinn in last month's Democratic primary.)
He's at the forefront of a new round of controversy this week over his backing of an unpopular proposal to earmark $100 million in taxpayer funds to build the Obama presidential library in Chicago, countering rival bids from POTUS' hometown of Hawaii and former collegiate stomping grounds of New York City.
The Capitol Fax poll also found that 55 percent of those surveyed would be less inclined to vote for a candidate endorsed by Madigan.
As the notoriously guarded Madigan grows a reputation beyond his Statehouse stronghold, his influence over local electoral outcomes could turn out to be a hazard for Blue State Ilinois.