New Poll Shows Dodd's Vulnerability in 2010

If Chris Dodd could tear himself away from the seemingly endless job of ruining our economy and socializing our country, perhaps he would find himself worrying about the Quinnipiac poll numbers released today.

Let’s look at what the Dodd-related numbers indicate.

Question #3: “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Dodd is handling his job as United States Senator?”

His overall approve/disapprove was 47/41, with 22% of Dems and 44% of Independents disapproving. Only Democrats and women had higher approval than disapproval numbers. The trend shows Dodd at his lowest point ever, down 4% since July and 24% since his high in April, 2001.

Question #8: “How likely are you to vote to re-elect Chris Dodd for United States Senator in 2010? Do you think you will definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably not vote for him, or definitely not vote for him?”

Overall, Dodd got 13/31/20/27. That means there are 3% fewer voters who are likely to vote for him than against him. Independents are only 37% def/prob to 48% prob not/def not. The overall trend shows a 7% drop in def/prob and a corresponding 8% increase in def not since July.

The bad numbers for Dodd may be attributable to voters linking him with the economic downturn. The economy in general as “the most important problem facing Connecticut today” jumped from 22% eighteen months ago to 59% today (Question #9). No other problem was even close, with taxes coming in second at 14%.

Voters don’t appear to be blaming the economic situation on Governor Rell, though. 54% of respondents indicated they would definitely or probably voter for her again in 2010, versus just 31% who would either probably or definitely not vote for her (Question #7). Since July, Rell actually gained 1% in the definitely voting for her category and lost 2% in the probably not voting for her category.

74% of those responding indicated that they voted for the senate seat in 2006 (Question #34). Interestingly, 16% of Dems (to only 11% of Repubs) chose not to vote. 2006 was an off year election, like 2010 will be, but remember that the Democrats were all fired up that year with Ned and Joe battling it out. No such drama yet for 2010, which may move the Dem “not voting” number up, while two years of socialism may be enough to light the fire under the conservatives in Connecticut.

I think these numbers show that many Connecticut voters are catching on to the damage Dodd and his buddies have done and are still threatening to do to our economy. If Obama, Dodd and the Democrats do the kinds of things they have said they would (no sure bet, if their past record of trustworthiness is any indicator) with their complete control in Washington, the economy won’t be much better come campaign time. There is no reason to think that this seat is not in play.

If Rell ran against him now, she could win. She might even be favored. Of course, that would likely mean Gov. Blumenthal, which makes me want to vomit, but that is for another post, I imagine. I would prefer someone else run for Senate and leave Rell in Hartford, if only to keep Blumenthal out of there.

But that someone will have a harder time than Rell. He or she needs to be someone with pre-developed name recognition, and they need to come out early and swinging. Dodd has repeatedly opened these doors, and someone needs to take advantage and barge through. Someone needs to lay out the facts of Dodd’s substantial role and responsibility in the collapse of the mortgage markets with the CRA and Fannie and Freddie, and remind everyone of the campaign contributions he was taking from the very lenders he was allegedly overseeing on the Banking Committee.

If he hasn’t run out of excuses for not turning over his Countrywide records, he needs to get hammered on that as well. Despite all the Democratic scandals going around, there is still room for another one. Blagojevich, Rangel, Jefferson, Dodd. Link them all together. Getting sweetheart mortgage deals from those you are supposed to be regulating while allowing them to run rampant, then sending them hundreds of billions of dollars to get them out of the hole you dug is not that far removed from auctioning off a Senate seat when it comes to abusing the public trust.

Depending on how the automaker bailouts go, he needs to get hit there too. Americans don’t support it, and for good reason. Chris Dodd has been doing everything in his power to give away billions of taxpayer dollars to companies not that are failing, but that have already failed. The companies need to be restructured, and a few billions dollars now is like putting a Dora the Explorer band-aid on a severed limb. It might look pretty for a few seconds and it might make you feel like you are doing something to help, but what it needs is a tourniquet, serious surgery and painful rehab to recover. Otherwise known as bankruptcy.

So, who’s it going to be? Maybe Rob Simmons. Rell isn’t too fond of him apparently so he could be out of a job with additional budget cuts, and he has the name recognition and Congressional experience. Or how about Associate Attorney General Kevin O’Connor. He is a young guy, well-known in Connecticut, has a fancy resume, he’s got some money and has campaigned before, and he will likely be looking for work sometime in early 2009 after Obama brings in Holder.

If you skipped the whole post and are only reading the last paragraph, Dodd in 2010 will be as vulnerable as he’ll ever be. Republicans need an early challenger to strike while the iron’s hot, and we need to support the best option that comes forward, even if he or she is not your dream candidate. Remember that the alternative is six more years of Chris Dodd. You need to work to rebuild the Republican party in Connecticut, get out the vote, volunteer with the CTGOP, and write letters to your newspapers (at least until they go under) making the case against Chris Dodd.

November 2, 2010, is not that far away. And after two years of Obama appointing federal judges, another Republican Senator will be no small matter.

Cross posted at The Artful Doddger.