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Dodd’s Poll Numbers in Free Fall After AIG Scandal

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) fell further behind former Rep. Rob Simmons (R) in polling released Thursday testing the 2010 Senate race. Simmons led Dodd, 50 percent to 34 percent, in the Quinnipiac University poll.The numbers also show what a bad month March was for the chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Dodd was virtually tied with Simmons in a similar poll from early March, 42 percent to 43 percent. It appears the scandal surrounding the American International Group bonuses could be to blame for Dodd’s drastic drop in the numbers this month. When asked which public official is responsible for the AIG bonuses, 27 percent blame Dodd, 20 percent blame Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and 28 percent blame former President George W. Bush. The new poll also showed that Dodd’s approval rating shot down, from 49 percent in the March poll to 33 percent in the most recent survey. “A 33 percent job approval is unheard of for a 30-year incumbent, especially a Democrat in a blue state,— said Douglas Schwartz, the director of Polling at Quinnipiac University, in a statement. If the election were held today, Simmons wouldn’t be the only Republican who could defeat Dodd. The poll showed state Sen. Sam Caligiuri (R), who announced his candidacy this week, led Dodd in a head-to-head race, 41 percent to 37 percent, with 17 percent undecided. Ambassador Tom Foley (R), who is not in the race, led Dodd as well, 43 percent to 35 percent with 16 percent undecided. The Quinnipiac poll took the opinion of 1,181 registered voters from March 26-31 in the Nutmeg State and had a margin of error of 3 points. Dodd would have likely been a shoo-in for re-election in a Democratic state like Connecticut, but a widely reported deal he received on his Countrywide mortgage, his quixotic bid for the presidency in 2008 and his leadership of the Banking Committee during the economic crisis have made him a vulnerable target in 2010.

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