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New Poll Shows Simmons, Dodd in Virtual Dead Heat

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) could be in for the race of his career in 2010. A new independent poll shows him trailing former Rep. Rob Simmons (R) by a single point in his traditionally Democratic state.

Simmons led Dodd, 43 percent to 42 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. Although Simmons has not announced his candidacy yet, the former Congressman said in a phone interview Tuesday that he thought the poll was “fantastic— and “unbelievable.—

“I’m not even a declared candidate yet. I’m just, if you will, exploring,— Simmons said. “But it looks like my exploring days are going to come to an end pretty soon.—

Simmons added that he anticipates making a formal announcement sometime in the near future.

“These numbers have to worry— Dodd, said Douglas Schwartz, the director of the Quinnipiac University poll. “Former Congressman Simmons is not well-known outside his district, yet he is running neck and neck with Dodd at this point.—

According to the poll, Simmons appears to be in a stronger position to defeat Dodd than the other two potential candidates for the GOP nomination. The incumbent Senator led state Sen. Sam Caligiuri, 47 percent to 34 percent, and CNBC host and former Reagan administration official Larry Kudlow, 46 percent to 34 percent.

The poll also showed Dodd with a 46 percent favorability rating and 45 percent unfavorable.

The survey took the opinion of 1,238 registered voters from March 3-8 and had a margin of error of 2.8 points.

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