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CT-Sen: Scary Q-Poll for Dodd

by: DavidNYC

Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 11:37 AM EDT

Quinnipiac (3/3-3/8, registered voters, no trendlines):

Chris Dodd (D-inc): 42
Rob Simmons (R): 43
Undecided: 12

Chris Dodd (D-inc): 47
Sam Caligiuri (R): 34
Undecided: 16

Chris Dodd (D-inc): 46
Larry Kudlow (R): 34
Undecided: 16

(MoE: ±2.8%)

I can't say I'm surprised to see numbers like this. Over the last few years, Dodd has racked up a number of negatives: moving his family to Iowa only to garner 0% in the caucuses, for a presidential run he never adequately "explained" to his constituents; his iconoclastic stand against FISA which endeared him to liberal activists (myself included) but probably didn't help him at home; and his seemingly preferential loan treatment from Countrywide which has earned him a lot of bad press.

On top of that, there seems to be a growing "throw the bums out mentality" in the face of the recession. It seems to mostly be afflicting governors for now, but the key thing is that it's nailing both parties - look at approval ratings for Paterson and Schwarzenegger. Dodd's vulnerability may well be increased just because he's getting swept up in that wake.

On the plus-side, Dodd is a prodigious fundraiser with powerful friends in the financial services world who won't want to see him toppled now that Dems control such a wide majority. (Though I wonder if Simmons will be able to use Dodd's ties against him in the parts of CT which are anti-bailout.) Also, Simmons hasn't yet decided to run, and I wonder how much money Big John Cornyn will be able to float him.

The bottom line, though, is that Dodd is at risk and will probably cost us a great deal even if Simmons loses. He needs to get out there early to start re-defining himself - and nuking his opponent if need be.

DavidNYC :: CT-Sen: Scary Q-Poll for Dodd
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I can't see Dod costing us a "great deal of money."  Probably not even a penny in fact.  But I'd love for the RNSC to waste millions on Simmons that could be better spent elsewhere should he run.  Simmons probably has a realistic cap of about a 57-43 loss statewide against Dodd.

Dodd is likely to have plenty of money from his own fundraising.  You have to wonder how much value will be added by extra spending.  But, if you're running for your political life, you can never have too much and Dodd certainly has the seniority to claim a share of DSCC money.  So, whether it will be particularly needed or useful, I expect the DSCC to spend it on Dodd if he faces a serious challenge.  That's just the way it is.

[ Parent ]
If Rell runs, he's finished
Maybe the Democrats should nominate someone else.

28, Unenrolled, MA-08

Connecticut voters know Rell has little power as Governor because Dems have massive state legislature majorities.  They also know that if they send her to D.C. she'll be a republican partisan hack empowering people like McConnell and Kyl.  Voters aren't as stupid as you think.  All this handwringing over Dodd is much ado about nothing.

[ Parent ]
It is CT
The last Republican US Senate candidate to get even 43% (see previous comment) was Lowell Weicker in 1988 (he lost to Lieberman).  Weicker, in fact, is the only Republican to be elected to a U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut in the last 50 years.  The last Republican to be elected to the US Senate other than Weicker was Prescott Bush in 1956.  That Prescott Bush, the father of George H.W. Bush and the grandfather of George W. Bush.

Jodi Rell might well be "a Weicker", a special candidate who transcends parties.  I think Rob Simmons is not.

The question then becomes, is Chris Dodd so tainted that hje is the worst Democratic nominee in 50 years?  (Ned Lamont would have won a two way race.)

Maybe it's time
for someone to have a chat with Dodd and tell him "Look, you've had a long and distinguished career, but you really ought to spend more time with your family."

I dunno...
He might take a page from the Bunning playbook and threaten to sue the DSCC or resign and let Governor Rell appoint a repub to his seat.

[ Parent ]
Are you kidding me?
You're honestly comparing Dodd to Jim Bunning?

[ Parent ]
Yes, I was kidding you
And I thought it was a pretty obvious snark.

[ Parent ]
Ok phew...
I guess my sarcasm-meter was broken....

[ Parent ]
From some of the things I've been reading in other places
I can't say I blame you, a while back I read something (not by ChadinFL mind you) which seriously demanded that we really need to primary Pat Leahy. That, as you can imagine, was rather amusing to me.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!

[ Parent ]
Everybody should have a primary
some people deserve to LOSE a primary.  

[ Parent ]
On this website?
Are you sure that was here?  Sounds more like something said on OpenLeft.

[ Parent ]
Not here
It was one of those diaries that tend to pop up on DKos every so often (complaining that Leahy isn't going far enough with investigating Bush which is why he needed to get thrown out of office).

Of course I remember during the primaries I happen to make a diary that poked fun of Hillary Clinton's tendency, at the time to start playing an underdog card (in that she was always the underdog and the tendency of Clinton supporters at the time to try and push this meme) (this would've been around mid-February when Clinton started losing a bunch of primaries) which jokingly compared Hillary Clinton to Mike Gravel (who is ever the underdog even among third parties) and I got hammered by the comparison, not because of it being insulting to Clinton mind you, but because I was trashing Gravel. I actually had to write an update which made clear that I didn't intend to insult Mike Gravel!

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!

[ Parent ]
Dodd himself does not need help financially
However, Dodd will be an excellent handle to beat democratic candidates with all over the country at various levels. I am not saying "every dem candidate". But many will be hurt. Fighting this will provide an extra obstacle in many elections and will therefore cost us a lot in unnecessary expenses. One strategy for the Reps would be to let Dodd stew in his own juice for now and then around this time in 2010 use it in earnest.

Dodd and Scandal
Is there really enough meat there to make scandal not only stick to Dodd for another year but to also tarnish all Democrats?  So far, it seems to my casual eye more smoke than fire.

[ Parent ]
I'd like to see some confirmation of the Simmons numbers
I was kinda expecting something similar to Vitter - under 50% but still with a decent lead. The Caligiuri and Kudlow margins if you will. I wonder if they oversampled CT-2.

Dodd, Vitter
Meanwhile, the Republicans keep putting Diaper boy David Vitter up front and center as a national spokesperson.  Jerry Lewis isn't squeaky clean either.  It is only four years since John Rowland was convicted and given prison time for extracting bribes while Governor.

We may not be squeaky clean but this tendency to jump all over our guys hides the truth.  They are a lot more crooked than we are.

P.S>  The national symbol Republicans will use (justifiably) is Rod Blagojevich.

You know he's headed for a rocky re-election fight
if he's airing ads this early.

Yes he is.

But for some reason, the ads are the same as Chris Murphy's ads, just with the name changed.

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

There's a bit of there there
Still, there are several codicils:

1) Only Simmons performs well versus Dodd. Generic Republican (which I assume is Caliguri's role) and certifiable moron don't poll well.
2) There are 12% undecided (and 3% supporting a third-party candidate). Right now Simmons has more Republicans than Dodd has Democrats. Also, whilst I can't find current numbers, 2004 figures had the electorate as 34% Democratic, 22% Republican and 44% independent. But Connecticut went 61-38 for Obama, so a lot of independents are probably relatively reliable Democratic votes. Simmons' 49-32 lead amongst them is probably not sustainable and I suspect most of the undecides lean Dodd.
3) Simmons may be poorly known outside his district, but that's not necessarily an opportunity for growth. Nuke him early and this could be his high-point.
4) This won't cost us. Dodd is chairman of the Banking Committee, and can easily raise enough cash to drown Simmons. As much as this might spark attacks, Simmons can't exactly rely upon grassroots donations in such an expensive state and therefore risks accusations of hypocrisy.
5) It's one poll. Lautenberg looked vulnerable to Zimmer in one poll. It's a worrying result, but we need more evidence before we have to panic.

Au contraire
1) Only Simmons performs well versus Dodd. Generic Republican (which I assume is Caliguri's role) and certifiable moron don't poll well.

For a Generic R, those are some pretty darn enticing numbers. Incumbents who consistently poll in the 40s this far out are in definite danger of a spanking. That said, "consistently" is the key word there -- and you are quite correct to mention that this is merely one poll.

[ Parent ]
Dodd should've asked Lieberman...
...about how well vanity runs for President can endears one to voters.

Actually I like these numbers coming up like this now.  It'll wake Dodd up and make sure he doesn't take the race for granted.  The most dangerous thing is an incumbent with mediocre approval ratings but good poll numbers whose lead slowly melts until it evaporates on election day.

NY-13, Democrat. Blog @ http://infinitefunction.wordpr...

Depends on the environment
Its still early its way too early to handicap this race. We just dont know what the political environment will look like in 2010. Will it be like 1994 all over again for the GOP? No. But it could still be a pretty good GOP year. thats not to say voters will fall back in love with the GOP. They have short memories but not that short. But as long as they dislike the Democratic Party, during election time, much more than the GOP...then it could be a pretty bad year. And in all honesty...this could be one of those cases where its not even the governing party or President's fault at all. Lets face it...George W. Bush wrecked this economy pretty bad. It could very well take much more than 2 years to even get it anywhere near good shape. And, fair or unfair, if the economy remains in the shithole come summer 2010, then many voters will start to point fingers at the Democratic Party and Obama. Even if theyre doing all they can. Effort can only go so far with many voters. To many of them its all about the results. And where im getting at it...Dodd could feel the brunt of this. We just simply dont know yet. And who knows, even if all that doom and gloom happens...Obama could win re-election in a landslide. Just look at 1994 and 1996.

But who knows how much money...
the GOP will put into it unless its a wave year. Theyve got so many open seats to defend. And CT aint exactly cheap.  

[ Parent ]
To his credit, Obama
has said repeatedly that this economic mess won't be easy or quick to deal with.

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
If it starts turning round by next summer
Even slight signs of things heading in the right direction then Dems will be fine.

[ Parent ]
I'd say signs of the economy turning around and it all getting better means Democratic landslide again.

I mean you dont get much more and black and white than that.  Republicans=in power when economy nearly collapses, Democrats=in power when economy recovers and is back to hustle and bustle.

Should ensure us control of Congress for a good long while.

[ Parent ]

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