Sen. Chris Dodd will not seek re-election

Connecticut senior senator Chris Dodd, who had trailed potential Republican challengers Rob Simmons and Linda McMahon in his bid for re-election, has decided to retire. Dodd becomes the second senator in as many days to announce he will not seek re-election (joining North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan), and his announcement likely paves the way for attorney general Richard Blumenthal to announce his candidacy:

The most recent Quinnipiac University poll, conducted in November, showed Dodd trailing former GOP congressman Rob Simmons by double-digits and trailing former WWE CEO Linda McMahon by a smaller margin. Even the senator’s own internal polling showed him trailing Simmons – an ominous sign for a well-known incumbent.While the Obama administration worked last year on Dodd’s behalf—including fundraisers headlined by both the president and vice-president—White House aides were long convinced that the senator was the political equivalent of a dead man walking.

With poll after poll showing Dodd trailing, it became increasingly clear that his candidacy was not salvageable. A senior Democratic official said Dodd’s long-rumored, and always-denied, retirement plans were “inevitable – like gravity.”

Still, a source familiar with Dodd’s plans insisted late Tuesday that there was no pressure exerted on Dodd from the White House to back down.

A top national Democrat said Blumenthal’s candidacy was all but certain.

Not terribly surprising given the uphill battle he faced. Next up: Lieberman?

NY Times: Senator Dodd Will Not Seek Re-Election, Democrats Say
Politico:
Sen. Chris Dodd won’t seek reelection

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5 thoughts on “Sen. Chris Dodd will not seek re-election

  1. Mad

    Sam: the only caveat to that is that the PPP poll was conducted before Dodd resigned. The message a lot of people being polled may have been giving was “any Democrat but Dodd.” Blumenthal has the luxury of being in a good position: high name recognition in CT, but most people don’t really know *that* much about him.

    There’s still a lot about Blumenthal that can be dug up about him: his desire for media attention, his “elitist” background at Harvard and then Yale Law school, and from the left, Blumenthal’s legal opinion that the CT Constitution did not afford the right of same-sex marriage.

    He’ll still almost definitely win, but know that it will be a much closer race than 30 points.

  2. Mad

    Sam: the only caveat to that is that the PPP poll was conducted before Dodd resigned. The message a lot of people being polled may have been giving was “any Democrat but Dodd.” Blumenthal has the luxury of being in a good position: high name recognition in CT, but most people don’t really know *that* much about him.

    There’s still a lot about Blumenthal that can be dug up about him: his desire for media attention, his “elitist” background at Harvard and then Yale Law school, and from the left, Blumenthal’s legal opinion that the CT Constitution did not afford the right of same-sex marriage.

    He’ll still almost definitely win, but know that it will be a much closer race than 30 points.

  3. Sam

    Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has announced that he’s running, and unless something really, really major comes up that means this election is basically over.

    Blumenthal has a ridiculously good approval rating (59-19) and Public Policy Polling’s new polling is confirming that the switch will make the seat “uber safe” for Democrats. He leads all Republican challengers by 30 points or more right now. (This is in stark contrast to Dodd, who was behind one and tied with another.)

  4. student

    omg. Well those of you still at Wes next election season, REGISTER IN MIDDLETOWN AND VOTE VOTE VOTE!

  5. student

    omg. Well those of you still at Wes next election season, REGISTER IN MIDDLETOWN AND VOTE VOTE VOTE!

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