Poll: With Dodd's exit, Dems better off in Connecticut

The Democrat running to replace the retiring senator holds a lead of at least 30 points in one survey

By Alex Koppelman
Published January 6, 2010 10:20PM (EST)

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., might not have won reelection if he hadn't opted to announce his retirement Wednesday. But state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the favorite to take Dodd's place as the Democratic nominee for the seat, appears to be in a much better position. According to one poll conducted just before Dodd's announcement, if the election were held today, Blumenthal would win in a landslide against any of his potential Republican opponents.

The survey -- conducted by a Democratic firm, Public Policy Polling -- shows Blumenthal leading former Rep. Rob Simmons 59-28. And that's the closest any of the three Republicans come to the attorney general. According to PPP, Blumenthal would beat World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon 60-28 and would crush Peter Schiff, who's best known as an economics advisor to Ron Paul, by a full 40 percentage points, 63-23.

At least some of this is due to the fact that Blumenthal is popular, or at least tolerated, across party lines in Connecticut. PPP's poll showed that a slight plurality of Republicans, 37 percent, have a favorable opinion of him, compared with 35 percent who don't. And in a Quinnipiac University poll conducted last year, fully 70 percent of Republican respondents said they approve of the job he's been doing as attorney general.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2010 Elections Christopher Dodd D-conn.