Inside The Q Poll: For Dodd, At Least As Bad As The Headlines Suggest

Apparently, Connecticut voters are not the ignorant fools Chris Dodd takes them for. After electing and reelecting him to the US Senate for almost as long as Carter’s CRA has been eating away at our economy, they are coming to their senses and appear poised to hold Dodd responsible for his actions by finally replacing him. The latest Quinnipiac poll was released today, and it paints a bleak picture for our senior senator:

A total of 42 percent of voters say they “definitely” or “probably” will vote to reelect Sen. Dodd in 2010, while 51 percent say the [sic] “probably won’t” or “definitely won’t” vote for him.

By a 54 – 24 margin, Connecticut voters say they are not satisfied with Sen. Dodd’s explanation of allegations that he received preferential mortgage treatment and 56 percent of voters say they are less likely to vote for him because of this controversy.

“Sen. Dodd is vulnerable. His approval has sunk to a new low. More voters disapprove than approve of the job he is doing for the first time in 15 years of polling,” Schwartz said. “The mortgage controversy has taken a toll on his approval rating. Most voters are not satisfied with Dodd’s explanation and say they are less likely to vote for him next year because of it.”

Let’s look a little closer at the poll, which was conducted between February 5-8 (post-Dodd’s concocted press conference) of 1,603 registered Connecticut voters, and has an MOE of 2.5%.

Question 14: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Dodd is handling his job as United States Senator?

Dodd’s approval number has plummeted to a mere 41, his lowest ever. Among Republicans, it is only 15, with Dems at 62 and Independents at 36. His over all approval percentage has dropped six points in less than two months.

Question 19:How likely are you to vote to re-elect Chris Dodd for United States Senator in 2010 – definitely, probably, probably not, or definitely not?

Overall results were 11 def/31 prob/19 prob not/32 def not.  That puts him on the downside of a 41/52 positive/negative split. This continues the downward trend since July ’08, which was soon after the mortgage story broke. He is getting absolutely crushed in Litchfield and Fairfield counties, and is closer but still in the negative in every other geographical area reported, though he is within a point in Hartford.

Question 20: Would you say that Chris Dodd is honest and trustworthy or not?

41 percent say Dodd is honest and trustworthy, and 42 percent say not so much. Only Hartford country gave him a positive result, at 45/37. Must be a high concentration of family and mortgage lenders in the capital city.

Question 21: How much have you heard or read about allegations that Senator Dodd may have received special treatment from Countrywide Financial on mortgages on his two homes – a lot, some, not much or none at all?

42 a lot/31 some/12 not much/13 none. So nearly three-quarters (up from 62 on 7/1/08) of those polled are familiar with the story, and only 13% are completely in the dark. Interestingly, Hartford respondents were paying the most attention to this story, but also found him the most trustworthy. Weird.

Question 22: Are you satisfied or not satisfied with Senator Dodd’s explanation of this matter?

Less than a quarter (24%) said they were satisfied, compared to 54% who are not, leaving a large percentage undecided. The numbers were relatively similar across the state, with the exception of Litchfield county, which had nearly 2/3 unsatisfied. Again, Hartford respondents confuse me, with 53% not satisfied with his explanation, yet more find him honest and trustworthy than not.

Question 23: Does the controversy surrounding Chris Dodd’s mortgages make you more likely to vote for him for Senator in 2010, less likely or it doesn’t make a difference?

56% indicated they were less likely to vote for him, to 36% who are unaffected. Amazingly, 2% said the whole thing made them more likely to vote for Dodd. Must be from Hartford. Republicans were 73 less likely/21 no difference, Democrats were 43 less likely/47 no difference, and Independent voters were 60 less likely/33 no difference.

So what does this all mean? All of his trends are still going down at a decent clip, with no indication that he has hit the bottom. His ill-conceived presser from last week didn’t play well with the voters, and he is in trouble unless he turns things around.

According to Roll Call (via Swing State Project), NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (TX) met with Rob Simmons a few weeks ago regarding a run for Dodd’s seat. Hopefully after reviewing these numbers, he will come to the conclusion that this is a race the Republicans ought to invest in. Between the mortgage mess, Dodd’s leading our economy to hell in a handbasket, and his support for the increasingly unpopular “stimulus” plan, he has left many avenues of attack for Simmons, Schiff or whoever else throws their hat in the ring. The sooner the attacks begin in force, the better for his eventual challenger.

This seat is squarely in play, ladies and gentlemen.

Cross-posted at The Artful Doddger.