PI Original Josh Kalven Wednesday May 13th, 2009, 9:19am

Sun-Times On The IL-SEN Beat

The Sun-Times' columnists have some interesting scuttlebutt on the 2010 U.S. Senate field today.  Lynn Sweet published the results of a poll featuring select match-ups.  While she doesn't say who exactly commissioned the survey or what firm conducted it, we do know ...

The Sun-Times' columnists have some interesting scuttlebutt on the 2010 U.S. Senate field today.  Lynn Sweet published the results of a poll featuring select match-ups.  While she doesn't say who exactly commissioned the survey or what firm conducted it, we do know this: It came from a "Republican interest" and was conducted on May 7.  Despite these mysterious origins, it gives us the first look at what the prospective Democratic primary field would look like with Chris Kennedy in the mix:

Jan Schakowsky: 20.0%
Alexi Giannoulias: 16.4%
Roland Burris: 15.9%
Chris Kennedy: 12.7%
Undecided: 35.0%

If you compare these numbers to the previous two polls conducted on the Schakowsky-Giannoulias-Burris field, you'll see that Burris' support is in the 16-18 percent range in all three of the surveys.  So what effect does Kennedy have?  At first glance, he appears to drain more support from Giannoulias than Schakowsky, but the data is too sparse to draw any solid conclusions.

Sweet further notes that half of the respondents weren't familiar with Kennedy and that learning about his relation to RFK and JFK didn't seem to have much effect.  She also posted head-to-head numbers featuring potential GOP candidate Mark Kirk, which found tight races against both Giannoulias and Kennedy.  Absent were the head-to-head figures in a Kirk-Schakowsky contest, which makes you wonder what the "Republican interest" found there.

Meanwhile, after tossing cold water on a recent Washington Post report indicating she was considering a run for U.S. Senate instead of governor, Attorney General Lisa Madigan seems to be leaving that door open a crack.  From Michael Sneed:

"The governor's race is still my main consideration," Madigan told Sneed. But Madigan's taking another look at the Senate race after recruitment phone calls from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

"I'm still up in the air about the Senate," Madigan goes on to say.

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