A new poll shows that longtime Sen. Chris Dodd could face a serious challenge from a Republican in 2010.
The Connecticut Democrat and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee trails former Rep. Rob Simmons by a margin of 43 percent to 42 percent in the latest Quinnipiac University poll.
“These numbers have to worry Sen. Dodd,” Quinnipiac polling director Douglas Schwartz told The Hill newspaper.
“The good news for Dodd is that this is the first poll in a long time where Dodd’s job approval hasn’t dropped.”
The poll showed Dodd — who first took office in 1981 — with an approval rating of 49 percent. In an October 2008 poll by the University of Connecticut, only 42 percent of voters approved of his job performance, while 48 percent disapproved.
But the poll results are “particularly ominous” for Dodd, because more than half of respondents say they don’t know enough about Simmons to form an opinion, “yet he is still neck-and-neck with the well-known incumbent,” The Hill observed.
Dodd has drawn criticism over a “VIP” loan he received from embattled Countrywide Financial Corp. that has been scrutinized as a possible trade-off for political favors.
Dodd in his role as chairman of the Banking Committee proposed a housing bailout in June 2008 that would assist troubled subprime mortgage lenders such as Countrywide.
Conde Nast Portfolio reported that in 2003 Dodd had refinanced the mortgages on his homes in Washington, D.C. and Connecticut through Countrywide and had allegedly received below-market terms.
CNBC columnist Larry Kudlow is also considering running for Dodd’s Senate seat, Newsmax reported earlier. In the Quinnipiac poll, Dodd leads Kudlow, 46 percentage points to 34.
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