Q-Poll: Dodd Recovers, Sort Of

Sen. Chris Dodd has gained on challenger Rob Simmons, according to the latest poll from Quinnipiac University, and is now only down by a handful of points. The number in parentheses is from April’s poll.

Simmons 45% (50)
Dodd 39% (34)

 
This is a ten-point swing in Dodd’s favor (Dodd now up by 5%, Simmons goes down by 5%), which is good news for Dodd (though not as good as, say, being ahead). He also actually leads Sam Caligiuri, now, by the narrow margin of 41-39.

Dodd also leads Democratic challenger Merrick Alpert 44%-24%. Yes, he’s under 50% in a Democratic primary against someone no one has heard of, which is not great news for him, but it could be worse. Alpert could be ahead.

The rebound follows a month in which Dodd has not made any negative headlines, and has had a major credit card reform act passed by Congress and signed by a popular president (whose praise for Dodd was effusive). Dodd’s biggest nosedive, in April, came after a month of scandal and bad press, and this poll suggests that while he hasn’t quite recovered completely from that, he’s made some headway.

What to make of Alpert’s numbers? Well, for a challenger with essentially zero name recognition, this isn’t at all bad. There are apparently a significant number of Democrats out there who are willing to vote for anyone over Chris Dodd. Richard Blumenthal take note. However, 54% of Democrats say they want to see Dodd run again.

One thing to note about this poll (and other Quinnipiac polls) is Dodd’s numbers in the various Congressional districts.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Dodd 39% 39% 39% 45% 35%
Simmons 43 48 44 42 47

 
In a general election matchup, would Dodd really lose the 1st and 3rd districts? This poll, and the April poll, suggest that he is behind there. It could absolutely be that Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents in these districts are turning against Dodd. But if that were the case, I’d expect Dodd to be doing far worse in the 4th district, which he is actually winning. This seems a little odd.

In fact, his numbers are consistent in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd districts, which are very different places. It’s hard to know what’s happening here without seeing more specific numbers for each district (i.e., a breakdown by party ID, the sample size, etc.). We don’t have a breakdown by Congressional district for other polls, so it’s hard to verify this trend.

This race right now, however, is far more about being angry at Chris Dodd than it is about Rob Simmons, and so voters may just be taking their frustrations out on him in remarkably uniform ways.

Favorability Low, But Better

Dodd gets a lousy 37% favorability rating, compared with a 30% rating in early April. It’s still better than April’s 30% number. He was at 46% back in early March, however, before the AIG scandal hit.

Dodd still has an honesty problem. 24% of those who disapproved of Dodd’s performance as a U.S. Senator cited dishonesty as their main problem with him (11% said his mortgage deal, 15% cited his ties to the banking industry). Only 35% said that they found Dodd to be honest and trustworthy.

Conclusions

Dodd’s campaign is likely to be relieved by this poll. The bleeding has stopped, for now. However, Dodd is still in very deep trouble with voters all across the state, and the damage done in March still lingers. Alpert’s numbers are disheartening, but not devastating. If Dodd had been close to or behind Alpert in a Democratic matchup, other more well-known Democrats might have given the race a second look.

The main conclusion to draw here is that Dodd still has an awful lot of work to do to really recover. But at least he seems to have hit bottom for now.

Other Tidbits

Everyone still loves Jodi Rell and Barack Obama. 73% approve of Rell, while 71% approve of Obama.

Joe Lieberman is back in positive territory, barely. 46% approve of his performance, while 44% disapprove.

Interestingly, 56% now say that they are somewhat or very satisfied with the way things are going in Connecticut, compared to 42% in March.

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26 responses to “Q-Poll: Dodd Recovers, Sort Of

  1. Relieved?

    According to this poll, Connecticut does not trust Chris Dodd, does not think he cares about them, and does not want him to run for reelection.

    Would you say that Chris Dodd is honest and trustworthy or not?
    Yes 35%
    No 49

    Would you say that Chris Dodd cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
    Yes 42%
    No 47

    Do you think Chris Dodd should or should not run for reelection to the United States Senate?
    Should 39%
    Should Not 50

  2. Yes, but at least things aren’t getting worse.

  3. Sure, but once you lose the public’s trust, it’s awfully hard to gain it back. Agree?

  4. Sure, but once you lose the public’s trust, it’s awfully hard to gain it back. Agree?

    Absolutely, and the numbers do bear that out.

  5. Nice bounce for Dodd. Nothing to be alarmed about. All is well! Remain calm! All is well!

  6. Mr. Reality

    There’s seems to be a rooting interest for Dodd by some on this board and I understand that because they agree with his liberal politics. That’s fine, but should a Republican get accused of something you will make ethics an issue. I think it was last year when the head of the state senate came out with SB 1. It was about ethics. Now since all these Democrats are in trouble ethics are a thing of the past. As someone who really does believe in ethics it really shows how little people care about the issue.

  7. AndersonScooper

    God you ‘wingers are a whiny bunch.

    Do you really expect, in a two-party system, for rank-and-file Dems to do your dirty work for you? If you know of something illegal, please come forward with it.

    For the record, you are the same GOOP’ers who stayed loyal to Bush/Cheney until the bitter end…

  8. Also, half of these interviews were done before Dodd was alongside Obama for the credit card bill signing. I’d be curious to see before / after samples.

  9. scanman1722

    Anyone who has been paying attention to politics for more than 24 hours knew that Dodd was going to comeback. Dodd never reached the point of no return like Lieberman did three years ago. In the summer of 2006, you couldn’t go a few days without having a conversation with someone about Iraq. It’s almost the summer of 2009 – when is the last time you talked to someone about the AIG bonus scandal?? Moreover, Dodd’s problems were mostly personal, not political. In other words, Dodd isn’t going around embracing the thing that was making him unpopular (Countrywide) whereas Lieberman did (Iraq).

    Perhaps the most important number in this poll is Obama’s: 71%. That’s not just Democrats – that’s EVERYONE. Obama is going to campaign for Dodd in the state and Dodd will get a much needed boost from that next summer while the economy continues to get better (something crucial to his re-election and, on a whole, the re-election chances of the party in 2010).

    Who is Simmons gonna bring? W? Cheney (!)? Rummy?

    Dodd’s upward poll numbers will be a trend that continues all the way through election day next year.

  10. AndersonScooper

    Genghis,

    Regarding those district-by-district break-downs, the most likely expectation is that a mistake was made. (or that 320 votes/district means a wide margin of error.)

    No way is Dodd ahead in Fairfield County, but behind in New Haven. That just doesn’t add up.

  11. scanman1722

    No way is Dodd ahead in Fairfield County, but behind in New Haven. That just doesn’t add up.

    Urban areas are underrepresented in polling historically.

  12. Mr. Reality

    Does the credit card bill have anything to do with creating better enforcement of blighted property? If that were the case I might even vote for Dodd.

  13. you guys will be boo hooing it when dodd kills simmons 80-20. q poll is a total right winger tool. never believe it.

  14. Mr. Reality

    I won’t be boo-hooing anything. I just think its funny that an issue that was sooo important at one time now means nothing.

  15. Only 525 days till election day 2010. A lot can happen. As I said before Dodd is in a situation that can be managed – he has the skills, the will, a changing environment along with many troops ready to work. A lot of anger and frustration in need of an outlet was vented in recent months. Dodd and all of the misrepresentations, gaffes and bad plays made him a convenient target and easy prey for doubting voters. He lost ground and has paid a price for not being more responsive and defensive at the time. That has changed as he has paid more attention to his situation, has actively demonstrated his ability to get things done, has spent more energy reaching out to people and defending himself. The consumer confidence and general attitude is shifting positive that’s good. When rational thinking – some of which is absent here – overcomes the anger and frustration the tide will shift more because Dodd is and has been a tremendous asset to our state and nation. And Obama and others will be reminding us about that often.
    Next poll – even better –
    Then the “R” challenger big bucks starts looking for a better target elsewhere – maybe to Pennsylvania.

  16. Joe Sixpack

    Completely off topic, but Elections Enforcement just whacked Sen. Crisco for his forgery scam, fining him $4000. And apparently, he forged a couple names. But, like with Sen. Gaffey and Rep. O’Rourke, nothing will happen. Just another “oops” from our supermajority. But at least there isn’t a dead body involved with this one……

  17. If this is “recovery” I am sure Dodd wouldn’t want experience what you’d call tanking.

    I do understand the fascination with this and I do think Dodd deserves to finally get removed. The poll numbers are encouraging, but we’re more than a year out… so much changes so quickly…

    But giving Dodd green diarrhea a year and a half out is definitely a pleasure.

  18. Bruce Rubenstein

    I am happy Dodd’s numbers are up. If he stay on the right track and promugates more citizen and consumer friendly legislation like healthcare….re-regulating the financial system…and the union card bill he will see his numbers improve more.He also needs to go around Connecticut and be visible every day he can spare.

  19. Thomas Hooker

    Dodd’s numbers are atrocious, and I see no chance of his coming back. It is mind-blowing that he’s in worse shape than the slimy snake Joe Lieberman. I don’t think Dodd deserves his numbers, but they are what they are. This is not a rebound.

    The clock’s ticking on him.

  20. Yes, but at least things aren’t getting worse.

    That’s what this person thought too!

  21. Who is Simmons gonna bring? W? Cheney (!)? Rummy?

    Mua ha ha ha! Yes, please do! We want to see Jodi go to an “undisclosed location” and the tea baggers turn out en masse at a Simmons rally! Mua ha ha ha!

    Dodd’s upward poll numbers will be a trend that continues all the way through election day next year.

    If Dodd were to recognize an average 1% easing per, over the next twelve months, he’d be at 51%, even with this undeniably Questionable-poll.

     In a general election matchup, would Dodd really lose the 1st and 3rd districts? …. This seems a little odd.

    The word you are reaching for is absurd. The Third is a yellow-dog District; and so is the First.

    Only 525 days till election day 2010. …. Then the “R” challenger big bucks starts looking for a better target elsewhere – maybe to Pennsylvania.

    Or, wherever. If the NRSC isn’t throwing resources into this now, that’s all you need to know. Out of town money from the Republicans is a more reliable indicator than this toilet-paper poll.

    What is the total stalwart-dollars raised by Simmons & Caligiuri combined to date, GC?

  22. AndersonScooper

    Yo Chris, can we quit with the denial? The surest sign this Senate seat is in deep doo-doo is when Democrats blindly flunk the math.

    Can we all stop pretending:
    1) Obama’s simply riding into town will instantly save the day. There is no magic bullet.
    2) The polls don’t reflect genuine anti-Dodd sentiment.
    3) Simmons isn’t a dangerous foe, even though he beat a 20yr incumbent in Sam Gedjensen, and held that Democratic district for two contested cycles.
    4) It’s a Blue State goddamnit! (despite 20 years of Weicker/Rowland/Rell)
    5) That Rockin’ Rob Simmons won’t be able to raise the $5-10 million he’ll need to run an effective campaign. (He raised $3 Million for his last House race, and the fervor amongst the national GOP to take-down Dodd is real.
    6) That just b/c the GOP isn’t running negative ads now, they won’t have a nasty effect against Dodd next year. (btw, the GOP will hold back till next spring, as they want Chris bloodied, but not dead.)

    The task before us is ENORMOUS. Period. Another Dodd term would be a historic comeback given those poll numbers south of 40%.

    Given where we’re at, I’d prefer if Senator Dodd graciously retired in favor of Dick Blumenthal. Because in the moment of that announcement this “contest” would be over, in favor of Democrats. Richard Blumenthal would annihilate the opposition.

    However if you Dodd loyalists want folks like me on board, you’d better stop pretending 2010 will be anything but a death match.

    What is Team Dodd doing to outraise Rob Simmons? I’m sorry but I gave a reluctant $2,000 plus last cycle, and still no one has bothered to call me, let alone send me a damn mailer. Why isn’t the fund raising in high, high gear?

    And where was all the positive press about Dodd taking on the banking industry in favor of credit card regulation and the American consumer? I spend 10 hours/week plus surfing the blogsphere, and I barely heard a peep re the filibuster against Sanders’ Federal Usury Law amendment, and the 22 turncoat Senators who voted for the banks, and against Dodd and consumers. (Lieberman voted for the credit card industry, btw.)

    Honestly, with Dodd’s 2010 Senate seat rated the most vulnerable in the nation, collectively we need to move beyond denial. Yes, Dodd himself seems content to play it safe. Only I’m not sure playing it safe is the way to go when your approval rating are in the high 30’s.

  23. Anderson –
    Read what I wrote if you are going to respond to it?
    Just a suggestion.

  24. AndersonScooper

    Read your own post, gosh darn-it.

    “Mua ha ha…”

    “If Dodd were to only realize a 1% gain per month….”

    The NRSC isn’t “throwing resources” into this race…

    And Hinting that the Caligiuri and Simmons aren’t raising money, right now, as if there is no tomorrow? (FWIW, Simmons is working to bury Caligiuri with his Q2 numbers, and Sam the man is desperately trying to raise $300-500,ooo.)

    You’re in denial Chris. Yes, it might please Team Dodd, and those sycophants/loyalists/cronies who are dreaming of an uncontested path to the Dem endorsement andnomination.

    But in the long run it doesn’t do anyone any good. Except for the Republicans. If Dodd can’t handle that joke named Alpert, he’s dead, dead, dead.

    If you guys want to actually fight your way through to re-election, please start showing it to the rest of us, now. Money and message, money and message.

  25. Interesting to note that everyone from any of the side is avoiding Rell’s
    68 – 23 percent among Democrats showing.

  26. AS,

    As you know it is seldom that I agree with you but I must say this time I tend to largely agree with most of your post #22 above.

    However, I do think that post is missing one very key point. IMO the key reason Dodd is in trouble today is because he has basically made the same mistake one of your other senate golden boys ( JL ) made a number of years ago. Over time he (Dodd) came to forget that just because he didn’t even need to campaign here in CT to win re election, he was not just rubber stamped back to office, but also actually re elected to do a job, and represent the people of this state while doing it.

    I think one of your biggest concerns about Dodd should be less about how much money anyone can or cannot raise here, or poll numbers, etc. I think you should wonder if he even knows how to run a real campaign for re election? You know, one where he will actually for once need to skillfully defend his ( very questionable ) record to win re election?

    He like so many other CT Democrats have taken for granted they will be rubber stamped back to office time and time again that I wonder if he even has a clue how to campaign? I might point out that his performance ( huge yawn!!! ) in his other “home” state of Iowa recently may support my opinion.

    I personally think this may also be a concern for your other golden boy, Blumie……When was the last time he actually needed to really campaign to get re elected? Certainly he has name recognition, but IMO the only thing automatic about him winning Dodd’s seat even if Dodd bows out, would be seeing Blumie on TV 12 times each day, instead of the current 6. How will he react to his first body blow in years?

    I realize you are probably not in full, if even any agreement with my comments here, which I admit are a bit over simplified, but I hope at least generally the point I am trying to make is clear. More than anything else Dodd ( and Blumie) will need to learn how to properly flex muscles he/they has/have never needed to use before. It’s been a long time since they both have been to the gym

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