Like rats leaping from a sinking ship
Embattled Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday at which he is expected to announce he will not seek reelection, sources familiar with his plans said Tuesday night.
Word of Dodd’s retirement plans comes after months of speculation about his political future, his faltering poll numbers and a growing sense among the Democratic establishment that he could not win a sixth term in the Senate. The news also came on the same day Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) announced he would not seek reelection.
Once among the safest of incumbents, Dodd’s political star fell over a two-year period, during which he moved his family to Iowa to pursue the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and was linked to a VIP mortgage loan program overseen by a controversial Wall Street financier. He also drew harsh questions about his oversight of Wall Street, as chair of the Senate Banking Committee, in the years when the nation’s financial system was heading toward near collapse.
Dodd’s poll numbers plummeted last spring before rebounding somewhat over the summer. But another dive in the polls late last year led to widespread concern that Dodd needed to vacate the seat for Democrats to have a chance at retaining it in the 2010 elections.
Before the GOP starts celebrating they should remember that Dodd likely wouldn't have won his primary contest. The voters of Connecticut aren't exactly pleased with the man. I recall a news story a few months back that showed that Dodd was only raising 20% of his reelection funds from the voters of Connecticut. The rest of his money came from across the country, from solid Democrat strongholds. Connecticut voters are sick of the corruption they see in this man.
So why shouldn't the GOP celebrate? Because Connecticut is a heavily-Democrat controlled state. Dodd wouldn't have won his primary contest, but a GOP candidate has only a slim chance of picking up this seat. Yes, our newest column predicts a bloodbath at the voting booth for Democrats, and we recognized that Dodd was in deep trouble. We also know that Rob Simmons was leading Dodd by 13 points in the last Rasmussen poll conducted at the end of last year. Could Simmons have pulled off the upset? Maybe, and he could still win now that Dodd is out of the picture and Democrats are behind the eight ball in Connecticut.
But neither of us are ready to pop the champagne just yet. There's still eleven months until the election, and God only knows what could happen in Connecticut. For now, toast the fact that one of the most corrupt senators won't be in Congress much longer.