First lady Michelle Obama walks into an awards ceremony during an awards ceremony for the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in the East Room at the White House on November 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. The first lady talked about the importance of afterschool and out of school arts and humanities education and presented awards recognizing programs across the country that benefit underserved youth. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Will Michelle Obama follow former first lady Hillary Clinton‘s footsteps and run for Senate?

Although Mrs. Obama has never indicated any interest in a political career, a new survey from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling firm suggests that Illinois voters would warm up to the idea.

Their latest poll has the current first lady leading first-term Republican senator Mark Kirk in a hypothetical match-up by a substantial 51 to 40 percent margin.

Kirk’s approval rating is currently only 34 percent, while Michelle Obama enjoys a 60 percent approval number. And President Obama also remains popular in his home state; PPP finds that he has 57 percent approval there.

Kirk has been on an extended leave of absence from the Senate after suffering a major stroke. He is expected to return to legislating this coming January.

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama increased political speculation about her future after her incredibly well-received speech at this year’s Democratic National Convention.

“I’d love to see her get more into politics because it would be a breath of fresh air in D.C.,” South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn told Newsweek.

“She’s honest and straightforward, which is not what you see in Washington much. She is exactly what we need around here,” he added.

Actor Samuel L. Jackson, a major Obama supporter, has also endorsed a potential political future for the first lady

“Michelle is Superwoman. What can’t she do?” Jackson told Newsweek. “That’s why people love her. She can be on the Supreme Court and anywhere else she wants. She can be the president. She’s history and she’ll stay history because she is so amazingly smart and together.”

Yet, when asked this past April if she would ever run for president herself, the first lady said, “absolutely not.”