President Obama pledged yesterday to help Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) win re-election.

"I can't say it any clearer: I will be helping Chris Dodd because he deserves the help," Obama told the Boston Globe yesterday.

Dodd's poll numbers have plummeted, first in response to controversial mortgages he received from Countrywide and later due to his involvement in writing the stimulus provision that allowed AIG to pay out $165 million on bonuses.

"Chris is going through a rough patch," Obama continued. "He just has an extraordinary record of accomplishment, and I think the people in Connecticut will come to recognize that. . . . He always has his constituencies at heart, and he's somebody I'm going to be relying on and working very closely with to shepherd through the types of regulatory reforms we need."

A number of Repblicans have lined up to challenge Dodd, including former Rep. Rob Simmons and State Sen. Sam Caligiuru. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) is considering challenging Dodd in a primary.