Dodd's reelection campaign in big trouble

A new poll shows the veteran Connecticut senator is vulnerable to Republican challengers.

Published March 10, 2009 3:25PM (EDT)

Nationally, things look good -- at least right now -- for the Democrats' prospects in the 2010 midterm elections. But one prominent Democratic senator isn't sharing in his party's good fortune.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., trailing by one percentage point (43-42) behind a potential Republican challenger. He does lead two other potential opponents, including CNBC's Larry Kudlow, but in both cases he was unable to get a majority of respondents' support. Plus, Kudlow suffers from a lack of name recognition in the state, and if he decides to run, voters who don't watch CNBC will be introduced to him and his numbers will likely go up as a result, purely because of increased recognition.

Dodd also has a low approval rating; at 49 percent approval, he's below the 50 percent threshold where incumbents are no longer considered safe. Still, poll director Douglas Schwartz said in a release acommpanying the results, there was one bright spot for the senator. "The good news for Dodd is that this is the first poll in a long time where Dodd's job approval hasn't dropped. It appears that Dodd's slide may have ended," Schwartz said.

The economy has hurt Dodd, who's tied to it by his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Questions about favorable mortgage terms he received from Countrywide haven't helped, either.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2010 Elections Christopher Dodd D-conn.