Poll: Simmons opens up lead against Dodd

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) trails all of his 2010 GOP challengers and registered his lowest approval rating ever in a poll released Thursday.

The poll suggests that even though his race for a sixth term is less than a month old, his re-election prospects appear dimmer than ever before.

Dodd trailed former Rep. Rob Simmons (R) by a 50 percent to 34 percent margin in the Quinnipiac University poll. Simmons his considered the GOP's top contender.

State Sen. Sam Caligiuri (R), who announced his candidacy yesterday, also beat Dodd by a 41 to 37 percent margin in the poll. And Dodd also trailed Tom Foley, a former ambassador to Ireland who is expected to join the contest, 43 to 35 percent.

Dodd's plummeting approval rating lies at the root of his problems. Just a third of respondents approve of his job performance while nearly six in ten disapprove. Those numbers mark his lowest approval rating ever, according to Quinnipiac.



More, nearly six in ten respondents also said they probably won't or definitely won't vote for Dodd for re-election. And more than six in ten said it was time for new representation in the Senate.

The senator appears to be taking the brunt of the public's outrage over millions of dollars the American International Group paid out to executives with government bailout money. Dodd played a role in inserting a provision into the economic stimulus package that allowed for those bonuses to be paid. He has since said the Treasury Department instructed him to add the provision.

Nearly three-quarters of respondent said they blame Dodd either a lot or some for the bonuses. And when asked who is most to blame for the bonuses, 27 percent said Dodd, the second highest behind former President George W. Bush's 28 percent.

There was a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent in the poll.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com