CT-Sen: Chris Dodd Tanking

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows some real trouble for Chris Dodd in Connecticut in the wake of the AIG bonus fiasco. Not only is Dodd trailing every potential Republican challenger:

Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd trails former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, a possible Republican challenger, 50 - 34 percent in the 2010 Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today...

Matched against two other possible Republican challengers, Sen. Dodd trails both State Sen. Sam Caligiuri 41 - 37 percent and former ambassador Tom Foley 43 - 35 percent, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.

...but Dodd's favorability and approval ratings have just plummeted:

...voters disapprove 58 - 33 percent of the job the Democratic incumbent is doing, his lowest approval rating ever. [...]

The incumbent's approval is down from 49 - 44 percent March 10.

Dodd gets a negative 30 - 58 percent favorability rating, compared to 39 - 12 percent favorable for Simmons with 47 percent who don't know enough to form an opinion.

In Quinnipiac's poll from a month ago, Dodd was down just 1 point. This suggests that the DK/R2000 poll from last week, which showed Dodd slightly ahead of Simmons, may have been overly sanguine or didn't fully register the impact of the attacks on Dodd over the AIG bonuses. You'll recall that Dodd had originally added an amendment to the stimulus package that was extremely tough on compensation restrictions but ended up stripping its retro-activity at the urging of Treasury and was dishonestly implicated in essentially allowing the AIG bonuses to be paid out. Dodd's real error was his reaction to these accusations where he appeared to deny then admit involvement, predictably reported as a flip flop in local media. That was at its peak during the week of March 16th (Rob Simmons laid AIG at Dodd's feet on March 19th); this poll was in the field from March 26-31. The success of the anti-Dodd campaign by the rightwing can be seen most clearly in this result from the Quinnipiac poll:

Asked which public official is most to blame for the AIG bonuses:

  • 28 percent blame former President George W. Bush;
  • 27 percent blame Dodd;
  • 20 percent blame Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner;
  • 7 percent blame President Barack Obama.

Dodd has to be seen as our most vulnerable incumbent at this point and as Chris Bowers notes, it's hard to see him recovering from this:

...if the Q-poll is correct, than this is better than the advantage Bob Casey started out with against Rick Santorum in 2005, and akin to the advantage Tom Udall started with in New Mexico in 2007. Both of those campaigns ended up in 17.36% and 22.66% blowouts respectively, as the incumbent and incumbent party never recovered. I'd be hard pressed to find any incumbent Senator that has ever recovered from a 16% deficit.

The one way to ensure that we keep the seat would be for Dodd to step aside and let CT Attorney General Richard Blumenthal jump in. Dodd has insisted that he has no intention of stepping aside but that was before a poll showed him with a double digit deficit. If subsequent polls confirm Quinnipiac's findings, I think Dodd's really got to revisit that decision.

Tags: Chris Dodd, CT-Sen, Rob Simmons (all tags)

Comments

13 Comments

Re: CT-Sen: Chris Dodd Tanking

Who will be running if Blumenthal doesn't run?  I agree Dodd just needs to announce he's not running for re-election.  And his fundraising hasn't been exactly a thing of beauty either--he has only $647,000 on hand.

by esconded 2009-04-02 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Sen: Chris Dodd Tanking

Start looking for a primary challenger even if Dodd doesn't step aside. The human race is in too precarious a spot to allow any seat to go R in the near future.

by MNPundit 2009-04-02 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Sen: Chris Dodd Tanking

Okay, thats a cute bit of hyperbole, but that aside I think you are right in thinking that a primary chalenger could appear soon.

by JDF 2009-04-02 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Sen: Chris Dodd Tanking

Democrats = better than GOP on Climate Change
No Action on Climate Change = End of Human Civilization, Possibly End of Human Race

Hyperbole doesn't enter into it.

by MNPundit 2009-04-02 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Sen: Chris Dodd Tanking

You said "Democrats = better than GOP on Climate Change
No Action on Climate Change = End of Human Civilization, Possibly End of Human Race"

Are you kidding? Nice to see you too have bought into this "humans are destroying the planet...and only we can save it"......junk science.......warming is not man made...

by adb67 2009-04-02 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Sen: Chris Dodd Tanking

Right, of course.  Please feel free to dispense more wisdom straight from the WSJ editorial page.

by Steve M 2009-04-02 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Sen: Chris Dodd Tanking

Manmade global warming of course......its what killed the dinosaurs...all those darned automobiles....

by adb67 2009-04-02 11:16PM | 0 recs
Outlier

Todd this poll is certainly bad, but it's a huge outlier -- both from last month's Q-Poll and Research 2000 poll from days ago.

That said, it is worrying.

I'll go ahead and say that anyone who thinks Blumenthal is going to run against Dodd does not know Connecticut and does not know Blumenthal. As a friend recently put it, Blumenthal is more likely to run as a primary candidate for President in 2012 against Barack Obama than as a primary candidate for Senate in 2010 against Chris Dodd.

(Disclosure: I was proud to work on Chris Dodd's presidential campaign.)

by Matt Browner Hamlin 2009-04-02 11:12AM | 0 recs
yinz knows your state.

and you ain't goin' to be twisting things just cause you like dodd, are ya? ;-)

Great ta hear from someone on the ground.

by RisingTide 2009-04-02 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Sen: Chris Dodd Tanking

Dodd is toast. As a former CT resident, who just moved 3 months ago, I can tell you that friends who still live there, and who voted for the guy before are all saying he needs to go. And let me mentioned that Sam Caliguri is a formidable opponent to both his republican challengers and Simmons. I woudl bet today, that this seat falls to a Republican.

Dodd wont step aside.....would be shocked if he did. He is much too arrogant...

by adb67 2009-04-02 11:19AM | 0 recs
It's time for Blumenthal to step up and run either

for Senate or Governorship. He had been AG long enough.

by louisprandtl 2009-04-02 12:06PM | 0 recs
Dodd will lose big if he runs...

He has plenty of scandals, and his wife is just this side of Mrs Evan Bayh for sitting on corporate boards, and collecting big bucks for companies her Hubby passes laws about.

Chris at one time stood for something, now DC and power have eaten his soul.

Time to step down, Chris, and let the new blood in.

by WashStateBlue 2009-04-02 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: CT-Sen: Chris Dodd Tanking

"The success of the anti-Dodd campaign by the rightwing can be seen most clearly in this result from the Quinnipiac poll:"

Gee ... you don't think the fact that he is a sleazy bum might have a little to do with t?

by usr102 2009-04-02 02:56PM | 0 recs

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