February 10th, 2009
12:13 PM ET
6 years ago

Poll suggests Sen. Dodd could face tough re-election next year

Sen. Chris Dodd is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which has oversight over the banking industry and mortgages.
Sen. Chris Dodd is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which has oversight over the banking industry and mortgages.

(CNN) - A new poll of Connecticut voters could raise alarm bells for Sen. Chris Dodd as he looks ahead to his re-election bid next year.

Fifty-one percent of registered voters in Connecticut questioned in a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday say they definitely won't or probably won't vote for Dodd in November 2010, when the five-term Democratic senator is up for re-election. Forty-two percent say they'll definitely or probably vote for Dodd.

Only 41 percent of those surveyed approve of the way Dodd is handling his job, with 48 percent disapproving. That's Dodd's worst approval rating ever in Quinnipiac University polling.

"The numbers are encouraging for Republicans because this is the kind of seat that the GOP would love to bring into play in 2010. Republicans can't afford to just go after the usual suspects. They need to take a shot at some of the more Democratic states if they want to make gains in the Senate,” says Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, a non-partisan analysis of U.S. politics and elections.

"Republicans are starting the cycle with the scenario that Senator Dodd is vulnerable. We'll have to wait a little while to see if these numbers continue through the year and if the Republicans can get a good challenger. Former GOP Congressman Rob Simmons is considering jumping into the race and he could make the contest competitive," he adds.

The survey also suggests that a majority of Connecticut voters, 54 percent, say they are not satisfied with the senator's response to allegations that he received preferential mortgage treatment, with 24 percent saying they are satisfied with Dodd's explanation. Fifty-six percent indicate they are less likely to vote for Dodd in 2010 because of the controversy. And voters are split on whether Dodd is honest and trustworthy.

Dodd is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which has oversight over the banking industry and mortgages. Dodd's two mortgages through Countrywide Financial Corporation's VIP program are being investigated by a Senate ethics panel. The senator said he sought no special treatment from Countrywide when he refinanced his Washington, DC and Connecticut homes six years ago. He acknowledged participating in the VIP program, but Dodd said he thought the program gave upgraded customer service rather than reduced rates.

"It's still early in the cycle, and if voters are dissatisfied with Dodd's explanation, he still has time to make his case,” says Gonzales. Some incumbents that look vulnerable in February of an off year end up not being vulnerable in the home stretch, and vice versa.

Dodd was re-elected to his seat in 2004 by a better than 2 to 1 margin over his Republican opponent. He spent much of 2007 and the first month of 2008 in a failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted February 4-8, with 1,603 registered voters in Connecticut questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.


Filed under: Chris Dodd
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. NYC REPUB

    I would vote for Dodd, unless there's some new blood moderate REPUB, or DEM w/ new,good ideas........

    February 10, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. johndon

    I love reading these comments. Reminds me of exactly why we are in this position to begin with.

    "Dodd is better than any republican", etc. etc.

    Guess what maroons – your buddy Dodd and Frank got us into this mess to begin with. But I'm sure I'm just picking on poor 'ol Mr. Dodd – after all, how could he possible know that a 4.25% interest rate on a $800K loan was a sweetheart deal?!?!?!

    I'd say you have your heads buried in the sand, but I'm thinking you have them buried up something else. You can keep on with your Bush Derangement Syndrome, but it won't help.

    Take a look at the difference – George Bush inherited a recession as well and then inherited 9/11, but he didn't blame slick Willy. What's Obama do in his first presser? Blame Bush for the problems and then shuttle all of his optimism for doom and gloom.

    Keep up the good work so we can continue to go nowhere fast!

    February 10, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. mb

    If Dodd isn't re elected, he will go into the Obama administration.

    February 10, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. thinkthenspeak

    Too many partisan hacks. I left the republican party long ago because I'm sick of their antics. Democrats are not any better. Two sides of the same coin – self preservation and enrichment are the only things they care about.

    If the idiots of this country could ever think for themselves, they would vote against every incumbent during the next election – regardless of party and how much you like them.

    Then they would take a stand on term limits.

    And then work for a viable third party.

    Until we have term limits and a viable third party, all you partisan hacks better enjoy the sewer!

    February 10, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. CK

    Sen. Dodd needs to go, the investigation into his mortgages will tarnish his image and he'll lose. We in CT need someone who will work across party lines, like former Reps. Chris Shays, Rob Simmons, or Nancy Johnson!

    February 10, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. BURNS

    CAREER POLITICIANS SHOULD GO THE PATH OF THE DINOSAUR,
    THEY NO LONGER SERVE THE GOOD OF THE PEOPLE. MOST
    CANNOT SPEAK BUT HALF TRUTHS , HAVE MEMORY LAPSES,
    BUT ALWAYS VOTE THEIR RAISES AS MILLIONS GO WITHOUT
    A JOB. I SAW ON THE NEWS THAT ONE POLITICIAN WAS SAVING
    1500 DOLLORS A MONTH BY SLEEPING IN HIS OFFICE. NICE
    GESTURE–I HOPE HE CLAIMS IT AS INCOME ON HIS TAX RETURN.

    VET NH

    February 10, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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