December 11th, 2009
10:20 AM ET
10 months ago

Biden helps out vulnerable senator

Dodd faces a tough 2010 re-election fight.
Dodd faces a tough 2010 re-election fight.

Washington (CNN) – Joe Biden heads to Connecticut Friday to help out one of the Senate's most vulnerable Democrats.

The vice president is teaming up with Sen. Chris Dodd in East Hartford, Connecticut to announce nearly $4 million in federal stimulus funding to replace an aging fire station. Later in the day, Biden is scheduled to join Dodd at a private fundraiser in Hartford for the embattled five-term senator, who's up for re-election and fighting for his political life.

The Senate Banking Committee chairman saw his approval ratings plunge late last year and early this year, following last year's Wall Street and banking industry financial meltdown, Dodd's involvement in the AIG bonus controversy, and following questions about mortgages he obtained from a VIP program.

Dodd's poll numbers inched up during the spring and summer after bottoming out earlier this year. But his approval rating slipped back again in a Quinnipiac University survey released last month. The poll also indicated that by 53 percent to 39 percent, Connecticut voters don't think Dodd deserves to be re-elected next year. According to the survey, Dodd is trailing his two potential Republican challengers in hypothetical 2010 general election matchups.

(Updated with new Dodd developments after the jump)

In a sign of Dodd's sinking political fortunes, the Cook Political Report this week moved his race from "toss up" to "lean Republican."

This will be the third recent high-profile visit for Dodd. The vice president and the senator in Connecticut appeared together at a stimulus event in early October. Later that month, President Barack Obama visited the state to headline a Dodd fundraiser.

It seems that right now, Chris Dodd's become the posterboy for incumbents in trouble.

"Dodd's in bad shape. He needs to put the focus on the eventual GOP nominee. He needs voters to reassess him and what he's done for Connecticut," says Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report. "He needs voters to feel good. If their overall mood is deeply sour, they are going to listen to messages of change. If there's a general uptick in mood, that will help Dodd."

UPDATE: Dodd's staying on Capitol Hill Friday. In a press statement, the vice president's office says that due to the possibility of votes on the Senate floor, "Senator Dodd will be unable to join Vice President Biden in Connecticut. The Senator's wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, will make brief remarks at each event."

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Chris Dodd • Joe Biden
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. U.S. Common Sense

    "The vice president is teaming up with Sen. Chris Dodd in East Hartford, Connecticut to announce nearly $4 million in federal stimulus funding to replace an aging fire station."

    This is NOT how federal funds are suppose to be used. This is a state expense, and should come out of the state pockets directly. If states are not able to meet their budgetary requirements, then the federal government can go forward and loan them money. But to send federal funds on pet projects (even ones that provide a valuable service to the local community) violates the roles of federal and state governments.

    (And I'm not even going into the "let's bribe the general public with a pet project so we can get an incumbant reelected" argument.)

    December 11, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. Mike in MN

    Biden's such a clueless blowhard that he is really funny, because he doesn't know he is a clueless blowhard, he is serious. Biden must be the funniest VP in history.

    December 11, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Scott, Tucson

    You go Joe...your help for this crook Dodd ought to ensure victory for the other guy.

    December 11, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. AJ

    Interesting that the folks in CT are so eager to dump Dodd yet steadfastly cling to Lieberman who has shown time and time again his philosophy lies in doing what is good for Joe, not what is good for the state of CT or the nation.

    December 11, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. Silence Dogoode

    Biden is just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Forget Dodd. CT is dumping him.

    December 11, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Robin

    He is not going to be reelected. And with any luck, Barney Frank will be gone too.

    December 11, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. barbara

    Why does Dodd even think he has a chance? Because he KNOWS, like all politicans do, that the people REALLY ARE STUPID and suffer from memory loss. Cant wait to see how forgetful they are up there in Conn. next election day.

    December 11, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Dar

    As like most of the Dems, SEE YA in 2010/2012

    December 11, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. jrzshor

    can't he get another job?

    when did being iin congress turn into a job for life?

    December 11, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Dirtbag Dodd is going down, big time. Having Biden there is like grabbing onto the anchor of a sinking ship.

    December 11, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. JP

    Sure enough, there is plenty of stimulus money available to help Senate's vulnerable Democrats, and to help even not so vulnerable Democrats too.

    Connecticut's aging fire station getting $4 million would create ?? jobs.

    December 11, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. Mississippi Mrs.

    The vice president is teaming up with Sen. Chris Dodd in East Hartford, Connecticut to announce nearly $4 million in federal stimulus funding to replace an aging fire station.

    Stay tuned... this is just the beginning of using TAX PAYER STIMULUS MONEY to buy votes. They will dole out money as needed on a political basis.

    America isn't stupid. We will vote them out handily in 2010.

    December 11, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. E. Elliott

    Dodd has made some credable contributions. But it is time for him to go. A he is too old. B He is not with the American working man on the issue of the 12 million criminal immigrants he wants amnesty for.

    That is not acceptable for a Democrat. And all to commonly is a shared unamerican position that they hold. Not that the party representing the owners of the farms, companies and sweat shops that empoly these criminals is better. Identify, capture, expel – and protect jobs for Americans.

    December 11, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Hope that works out as well for Chris "Friend of Tony Mozilo" Dodds as it did for Corzine and Deeds.

    December 11, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. Mike1952

    Dodd is one of the authors of the housing catastrophe as he pushed the bubble until it exploded. Then the financial instruments cobbled together for financial gain collapsed along with the mortgage market. This sorry excuse for a leader now attempts to buy his votes with my tax money to build a fire station I'll never see.

    December 11, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. RichP the Pocono's

    Dodd, another one that needs to go, along with Barney too..

    December 11, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Tony T

    Great!! Show up at a $4 million PORK BARREL SPENDING PROJECT RIGHT OUT OF THE PORKULUS. Would love to be there to jeer these nitwits, this is what is wrong with these loons. Vote them all out. I hope he gets the he!! beat out of him at the polls.

    December 11, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    So . . . does this mean if Connecticut voters loose the $4M Federal stimulas funds for an aging fire station if they do not elect Dodd in 2010.

    December 11, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Jimmy James

    I don't care if another democrat , liberal or moderate, wins in Conn. This guy is corrupt. We need term limits. These guys are so out of touch. They claim to represent the working man when they haven't put in a weeks work since taking office. They spend all their time trying to position themselves to get rich.

    December 11, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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