Quinnipiac: Dodd Trails Simmons by 16 Poins

A nightmare of a poll for Sen. Chris Dodd has just come out. A Quinnipiac University poll shows that the events of the past month, which has been nonstop negative news for Dodd, have taken their toll.

Dodd now trails Republican Rob Simmons 50%-34%.

Yes. He’s in the thirties, and Simmons has cracked 50%. We’re still a long way away from November, 2010, but Dodd is headed in the wrong direction with voters. Dodd loses 56-25 among independents, and even loses 27% of Democrats to Simmons.

Dodd’s approval rating now sits at 33%, while 58% disapprove of his performance (for comparison, Joe Lieberman’s approval is 46%, with 47% disapproving).

What’s Dodd’s problem? Voters no longer trust him. 54% say he is not honest and trustworthy. 27% of voters find that Dodd is most to blame for the AIG scandal, and 59% of voters say they’re angry about that.

Dodd does better against Caliguiri, in that he captures 37% of the vote to Caliguiri’s 41%. Yes, he’s behind to a guy most people in Connecticut have never heard of… but at least he’s keeping him under 50%! Even Tom Foley beats Dodd 43% to 35%.

At this point, Dodd is attracting only hardcore Democrats who vote for the Democratic candidate every election, and losing pretty much everyone else. This is an awful position to be in. He can’t win if these numbers don’t change dramatically. He must win back the trust of those Democrats who are wavering on him, and a very large number of independents. How does he do that?

I have no clue.

If last month’s poll numbers were a disaster for Dodd, these are basically an open invitation for another Democrat to get a primary challenge together.

A note of caution for Dodd-haters, however: this poll is wildly different from a Research 2000 poll released last week. However, Quinnipiac has a much better record here in Connecticut, so I’d be more inclined to trust their numbers than Research 2000’s.

Everyone Loves Jodi

Meanwhile, Jodi Rell continues to enjoy phenomenal approval ratings, as 72% of those surveyed approve of the job she’s doing. Whatever anger Connecticut residents are feeling, they’re definitely not taking it out on the governor.

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26 responses to “Quinnipiac: Dodd Trails Simmons by 16 Poins

  1. I wonder why Tom Foley does better than Caliguiri against Dodd. Certainly the former Ambassador doesn’t have better name ID than the State Senator.

    These awful Dodd numbers should help Republicans with fundraising.

  2. Maybe I’ll run for Senate? But first I’ll need to change my name from

    Tim White

    to

    Tim AnyoneButDodd

    I sense it may prove to be a winning strategy.

  3. This is the bottom of a news cycle….I can’t imagine he’ll be anywhere near numbers this bad in a few months. People are furious right now, and he’s become the consensus target….

  4. Dodd needs to remember that he’s supposed to represent us to Washington, not Washington to us.

    Why not subpoena the bailout papers from The Fed?

  5. Tim – you didn’t see this line in the Q Poll?

    Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom

    Caligiuri 41 81 16 47 45 38
    Foley 43 81 16 51 48 39
    Tim AnyoneBut Dodd – 42 81 16 49 47 38

  6. Alex P. Keaton

    Perhaps Rell’s popularity is a sign that the general public finally realizes we’ve got dullards controlling the legislature. But the epiphany arrives late: We’re stuck with mopey freshmen who already appear cozy under the majority’s blanket of cluelessness. This new crop of legislators — Annie Hornish, Matt Lesser, Michelle Cook, Matt Conway — leaves little hope for the future.

  7. Alex P. Keaton said:
    Perhaps Rell’s popularity is a sign that the general public finally realizes we’ve got dullards controlling the legislature.

    “dullards”??
    You’re too kind.

    I do think the average Joe is coming to realization that Jodi is among the few “grown-ups” at the Capitol; *and* that she is a decent, kind, honest woman – free of any weird agendas.

    But the epiphany arrives late: We’re stuck with mopey freshmen who already appear cozy under the majority’s blanket of cluelessness.

    Well put.

  8. Heath!

    Let’s get going here.
    Your fan base doesn’t even have a current email for you anymore.

    When one clicks your name they get taken a site that says:

    Maintenance Mode
    Heath W. Fahle is currently under construction.
    Please try back in 7 days.
    Sorry for the inconvenience.

  9. Surprising to see Caliguiri polling so well, although, not too surprising considering that he is polling against Dodd. I happened to see Caliguiri on Hannity twonights ago and he did not fare so well. Hannity gave him a pretty decent beat down which was surprising considering that the show was probably expected to be a cakewalk. Not good when Hannity is lecturing you on the political process and the need to answer questions honestly and without sounding like another Washington insider. It is especially not good when Hannity is supposed to be your guy, and when Hannity would do anything to see your opponent defeated.

  10. I guess his “everyone is running for my job, but I am going to keep working to bring jobs to CT” speech really turned the tide for him.

    This guy is sucking wind but refuses to take a toke off his puffer. Run Dodd, run!

  11. Gosh – everyone settle down…we’re 19 months away from an election.. does everyone remember that George Bush I was “unbeatable” in March/April 1991 after Gulf War I? Dodd has plenty of time (barring even more disclosures of his “pay to play” handling of the financial services industry) to recover and CT remains a very blue State. The interesting points in the poll were:

    Caligiuri, although beating Dodd, is the weakest of the 3 likely GOP candidates – perhaps too far to the right for the independent vote; and

    Gov. Rell’s still stratospheric poll ratings. Can’t be a good sign for the Dems running for Governor but also NEVER translates into votes for GOP candidates running elsewhere on the ballot.

  12. maxidoodler

    does everyone remember that George Bush I was “unbeatable” in March/April 1991 after Gulf War I?

    CT2,

    A valid point, but keep in mind that it is much easier to go from “popular” to “unpopular” in the polls than it is going from “unpopular” to “popular.”

    no matter where you sit, these poll numbers for Dodd are bad news.

  13. Caligiuri, although beating Dodd, is the weakest of the 3 likely GOP candidates – perhaps too far to the right for the independent vote; and

    He’s no more “right” than Reagan and you might recall he did quite well here.

    MOST people will vote for common sense and integrity regardless of ideology.

  14. Agreed they stink for Dodd, just trying to minimize the importance this far out from an election. CT voters still generically favor the Dems and the President’s ratings remain sky high so perhaps there is plenty of room for Dodd to make up?

  15. Perhaps Rell’s popularity is a sign that the general public finally realizes we’ve got dullards controlling the legislature.

    I’d say it’s a sign of a masterful public relations effort. I don’t know who else to point to other than Rell when it comes to the complete lack of vision for the state of Connecticut and the atrocious job growth numbers. Turnover in the legislative leadership is relatively high. Ritter, Lyons, Amann, and Donovan have all brought their own politics to the House leadership. What’s been consistent since 1995 is Jodi Rell’s presence in one of the state’s two highest offices.

    I’m almost impressed. If someone I supported did such an awful job and had such high approval ratings, I’d be delighted. I hope, though, that I would never support someone who did such an awful job, and I think the voters in Connecticut will catch on when she’s finally tested in 2010.

  16. AndersonScooper

    Hey CT2, of course Dodd could still win nineteen months from now. That will always remain the case.

    However, for the sake of the CT Democratic party, Dodd should put an early end to this fiasco by announcing his retirement.

    The CT GOP stands to gain traction from this fight, and it could prove costly. Dems could lose this Senate seat, as well as the hard fought 4th.

    Previously I had thought that Dodd should take 6-8 months and make his decision in late fall. Now I don’t know. This is setting up to be a perfect storm against the Senator.

  17. … when she’s finally tested in 2010.

    She was “finally tested” in 2006 and she mopped the floor with the guy without even getting her hands dirty.

    Her consistently high approval numbers speak volumes; she has frequently enjoyed the highest approval numbers of any Governor in the United States and has never dropped below top 5 or 10 for even a week.

  18. She was “finally tested” in 2006 and she mopped the floor with the guy without even getting her hands dirty.

    She wasn’t tested. Her opponent was John DeStefano. The only way he could test Rell is in a competition of people who are popular and re-elected despite their job performance.

    Unless Amann were to somehow win the nomination, 2010 will be a real race for Jodi Rell.

  19. The economy recovers, Dodd wins. If it doesn’t, he’s gone. Simple.

  20. She wasn’t tested. Her opponent was John DeStefano.

    It’s not the responsibility of the Republican Party to select Democratic candidates.

    We assumed they put up the “best” candidate they could find.

    That CT voters have consistently rejected Democratic Gubernatorial candidates since 1990 indicates their party leaders have failed to align themselves with voters.

    2010 doesn’t look like it will be any better.

    Unless Amann were to somehow win the nomination, 2010 will be a real race for Jodi Rell.

    He’s the only real shot the Dems have; the rest are cannon fodder.

  21. This poll does not reflect people wanting Simmons and thinking he’s a great candidate – it reflects people are angry at Dodd for things that are not his fault (the economy) and his personal problems (Countrywide). Like CTBob said above – it’s the economy, stupid. When things rebound and Dodd starts to campaign/repair his image, his numbers will go up. Also, once Simmons gets bloodied by Caligiuri/whoever else runs, his numbers will go down. This poll doesn’t scare me and it shouldn’t scare Dodd.

  22. This poll doesn’t scare me and it shouldn’t scare Dodd.

    Reminds me a lot of DeStefano in 2006, where it was always going to be the next poll that was going to show him rebounding. Somehow that next poll never showed up.

  23. Reminds me a lot of DeStefano in 2006, where it was always going to be the next poll that was going to show him rebounding. Somehow that next poll never showed up.

    Here’s the difference – DeStefano was a long-term mayor of a big city who had never run a statewide race against one of the most popular incumbents in state history. Dodd has been elected to statewide office since 1980 and never faced a serious challenge before now. Additionally, though you wouldn’t think so now, Dodd has been very popular in the state. Every single person in the state has an opinion on him and a good portion of the state has voted for him before. DeStefano could not say the same. And so when I say Dodd’s numbers can and will go up, it’s a lot different.

  24. Mr. Reality

    So you are saying Dodd’s numbers will go up…that will also mean that CT resdients approve of his ethical lapses. They didn’t for Rowland why do you think they will for him. Unlike Rowland’s, Dodd’s misgivings coupled with his “leadership” of the Banks Committee are just about as bad as you can get.

  25. scanman1722

    So you are saying Dodd’s numbers will go up…that will also mean that CT resdients approve of his ethical lapses. They didn’t for Rowland why do you think they will for him. Unlike Rowland’s, Dodd’s misgivings coupled with his “leadership” of the Banks Committee are just about as bad as you can get.

    There is no concrete proof Dodd knew that he was getting a better deal on his mortgage unlike Rowland who knew his lake cottage was being renovated in exchange for state contracts. It takes balls to compare what Dodd did to the corruption of the Rowland era.

    Second, chairing the Banking Committee is no easy gig when the economic world is falling apart. Moreover, I doubt that 8 out of 10 voters could name the committee he chairs and therefore it’s a mute point.

    His numbers will go up but that won’t mean CT residents believe it ethical lapses…it means they will re-elect a man who has delivered for this state time and time again once he earns their trust via a tough campaign.

  26. AndersonScooper

    Scanman, do we know all the facts about Dodd’s vacation cottage?

    In one of his columns Rennie claimed that a local attorney named John Moore had written a letter to the local planning commission, (in 1993 or 94), urging that they speed along construction approvals because Dodd was such a good friend of Galway/Digital/Galway. Were those renovations ever made, and if so, who paid for them?

    So I’ll agree that the Countrywide “scandal” was utter bullshit, but let’s not pretend that there’s no “there” there when it comes to the Irish cottage, because I don’t think anyone yet knows.

    And I’ll reiterate that facts and legalities might not matter much in the political equation. Look what the GOP did with Countrywide, and imagine what would happen once they started running ads about Dodd, a DC condo, a vacation cottage, and a pardoned insider trader.

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