Research 2000’s poll for Daily Kos shows Dodd up 45-40 on Simmons, with a 4% MOE. While a bit better for Dodd than the last Q poll, it is difficult to compare two different polls with different samples, different questions and different methodologies. In any event, these are still pretty poor numbers for a three decade incumbent. Dodd’s favorable/unfavorable is +7 (13 no opinion), while Simmons’ is +23 (41 no opinion).
Dodd is the most endangered incumbent in the Senate at the moment. He has certain things going for him: he’s got a famous name, formidable fundraising ability, and Connecticut is a Democratic-leaning state. On the other hand, he hasn’t been battle-tested by a series of tough races, as Simmons has.
This will be the toughest race of Dodd’s long career, and he’d better be up for the challenge. He’s still slightly favored, but if he doesn’t watch out be [sic] could end up like Elizabeth Dole.
Caligiuri appears to be a nearly-complete unknown; 82% have no fav/unfav opinion. Even so, Dodd barely breaks 50% against him, 51-30. That means there are a lot of people simply voting against Dodd, and not for his opponent, regardless of who it is. Good for the R’s, not so much for Dodd.
Also, Rell retains an approval rating of over 70% and polls pretty well in hypothetical 2012 matchups against Lieberman and either Lamont or Blumenthal.
Cross-posted at The Artful Doddger.