First lady Michelle Obama's answer to whether she'll ever run for president: "Absolutely not." But it seems that voters in her home state of Illinois hope that response leaves room for other elected roles.
According to a Dec. 5 roundup of Illinois poll data by Public Policy Polling, she leads Sen. Mark Kirk in a hypothetical 2016 Senate race:
If Michelle Obama decided she wanted to follow the Hillary Clinton route once her husband leaves office in 2016 and go to the Senate, she'd have the upper hand on Mark Kirk. She leads him 51/40 in a hypothetical head to head. Kirk's approval numbers are ok with 34% of voters approving of him to 19% who disapprove. But those numbers are no match for the first lady, who's seen positively by 60% of voters to 33% with a negative one.
She even surpasses President Obama's popularity in their home state: His approval raiting is only 57 percent among Illinois voters.
Of course, it's much easier to remain likable when you're not dealing directly with the animosity that characterizes today's political climate. We can't blame Mrs. Obama one bit for wanting to do the "other important things" she references in the clip below in ways that are removed as far as possible from campaigning, voting or polling of any kind.
That said, no matter how many times she says "absolutely not," we don't expect the buzz about the first lady seeking elected office to die down anytime soon, either.
Here's the response she gave back in April when asked whether she would consider a presidential run:
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Read more at the Huffington Post.