Dodd Using Recess to Win Back Electorate

Posted April 10, 2009 at 2:57pm

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), facing increasingly difficult odds in 2010, is spending the two-week recess barnstorming his home state to try to improve his political standing.

Dodd and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan will focus on the foreclosure crisis during an appearance Monday in Hartford. The duo will also make stops in New Haven and Bridgeport “for a series of events focused on the foreclosure crisis,— according to a Dodd press release.

The appearances are part of a series dubbed “Banking for Change,— meant to highlight Dodd’s work on consumer protection issues as chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Dodd has come under fire in recent weeks for his handling of the nation’s economic crisis, most particularly for his role in the executive compensation bonuses paid to American International Group. Dodd acknowledged that he inserted a loophole in the $787 billion stimulus package that allowed for the compensation payments to go forward.

Dodd spent much of the past week focusing on the economy, heading up a listening tour of the Nutmeg State. He met with local fire officials on federal grant issues and with union leaders to discuss defense contracts. He also invited Hartford-area business owners to offer their take on the stimulus bill during a joint stop with House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.).

A Quinnipiac University poll released last week shows Dodd trailing Republican opponent and former Rep. Rob Simmons, 34 percent to 50 percent, in a hypothetical matchup. That poll reflected a major slip from a March 24 poll when Dodd garnered 42 percent to Simmons’ 43 percent.

Dodd’s approval rating in the April 2 poll was 33 percent, much lower than the 49 percent rating he received in the March survey.

State Sen. Sam Caligiuri (R) has also announced he will run for his party’s nomination in the closely watched Senate race.