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New Poll Shows Improvement for Dodd

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) has rebounded slightly, a new poll released Thursday showed, and the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs chairman now trails former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.) by only 5 points.

Simmons led Dodd in the poll, 44 percent to 39 percent — an improvement over a similar Quinnipiac University poll in July that showed Dodd 9 points behind the former Congressman. The Quinnipiac poll also showed Simmons, the only candidate with any significant name identification, well-positioned in the GOP primary next August. He garnered 43 percent in a primary ballot test, and no other GOP candidate topped 5 percent.

The poll showed that Dodd’s biggest gain was among independent voters, who favored Simmons 49 percent to 31 percent. That’s an improvement from the July poll, which found independents supported Simmons 56 percent to 27 percent.

“Sen. Christopher Dodd’s approval keeps edging up, and he is bringing down his high negatives. For the first time in six months, his disapproval is under 50 percent, just barely,— Quinnipiac University Poll Director Doug Schwartz said in a statement. “But the incumbent has made only slight progress against Republican front-runner Rob Simmons. About 40 percent of voters will vote for anybody but Dodd, as evidenced by their willingness to vote for Republican candidates they haven’t heard of.—

The Quinnipiac poll backs up a Research 2000 poll done earlier this month for the liberal Web site Daily Kos. That poll found Simmons ahead of Dodd 46 percent to 42 percent, a lead within the poll’s margin of error.

In related news, another wealthy Republican joined the Senate race Thursday morning. Businessman Peter Schiff (R), who was an adviser to Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) presidential campaign, announced that he was moving his bid out of the exploratory phase into a full-fledged campaign.

World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon (R) announced her campaign earlier this week. Like Schiff, McMahon is in a position to spend a considerable amount of her own financial resources on a bid. State Sen. Sam Caligiuri and former ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley are also running for the GOP nomination.

The poll of 921 registered voters was taken Sept. 10-14, and the survey had a margin of error of 3 points. The survey included 248 Republicans.

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