| Quinnipiac (3/3-3/8, registered voters, no trendlines):
Chris Dodd (D-inc): 42
Rob Simmons (R): 43
Chris Dodd (D-inc): 47
Sam Caligiuri (R): 34
Chris Dodd (D-inc): 46
Larry Kudlow (R): 34
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.