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First Lady Generating Senate Buzz In Illinois, Poll Shows

Illinois has voiced the "Obama For Senate" call before, but according to one poll, the Prairie State may want to repeat it — for Michelle. In a Dec. 5 roundup of Illinois poll data, Public Policy Polling said Michelle Obama leads Sen. Mark Kirk in a hypothetical 2016 Senate matchup. The polling firm said the first lady leads Kirk 51-40 in the could-be race. Kirk's approval rating, according to voters polled, is 34 percent, with a disapproval rating of 19 percent. Meanwhile, Michelle Obama tops out with a 60 percent approval rating, with a 33 percent disapproval. The first lady even surpasses her husband in popularity in their home state: President Obama's approval rating is 57 percent positive among Illinois voters. With her September speech at the Democratic National Convention, the first lady electrified the crowd much the way her husband did when delivering the keynote speech at the 2004 convention (and of course, we know what happened there). Still, the first lady has insisted political ambitions are non-existent in her post-White House plans. During the White House's "Take Your Daughters And Sons To Work Day” event in April, she answered "absolutely not" when a young attendee asked if she would ever run for president, reports ABC News. (Watch Michelle Obama's full response to whether she'll seek office.) The polling results were revealed the day prior to the announcement that Kirk plans to return to Congress on Jan. 3, almost one year after he suffered a major stroke.

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