Sen. Dodd to Retire

Big news out of our friendly blue state to the south: Senator Dodd is going to announce today that he’s not running for re-election. Talk about a fall from grace — Dodd went from one of the most popular and safe Dems to the one probably the most likely to be ousted in 2010.

Unlike the Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) retirement announcement, which was both a surprise and a big blow for Democrats (since the seat will likely flip to the Republicans), Dodd’s retirement virtually assures that Connecticut will retain a Democratic Senator. With the news that state AG Richard Blumenthal will run for the seat, the seat moves from the second most likely Democratic seat to flip (after Dorgan’s) to pretty safe.

The other interesting development that this leads to is that — assuming Blumenthal wins — the race to challenge Lieberman in 2012 is again wide open (Blumenthal was already making moves to challenge Joe). Who will step up to challenge Lieberman? Will it be one of the Reps., particularly Chris Murphy? Will Ned Lamont get another crack at him?

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  1. As an aside

    A recent Quinnipiac University poll from November had Richard Blumenthal's approval/disapproval ratings at a positively stratospheric 78%-13%, with only 9% "don't know" (you have to click the link to the Word document on the page to get the full results of the poll).

    What politician wouldn't kill for those sort of numbers? Of course, those numbers will go down some now that he's entering the race, but you can see why he's got to be the overwhelming favorite. Those favorables/unfavorables compared Dodd's 42%-49% (from another Quinnipiac Poll two days later), so this is definitely good news for Democrats (except those who really liked Dodd, I suppose).

    • The 13% who don't like him...

      ... likely think he's a wimp.  He's flirted with running for higher office for what seems like decades, always with massive popularity.

      My frustration: CT swaps Rell and Dodd for Lamont and Blumenthal... and Lieberman, the worst of 'em all, coasts.  Yes Martha, Lieberman is worse than Rell.

      • Lieberman coasts?

        I doubt it.  Even if your above scenario plays out I'm sure the CT Dem. bench is deep enough to get a good candidate against him.

      • Lieberman can't coast

        Last time, he got through by getting pretty much all Republicans voters to abandon the Republican and vote for him, plus a large (though minority) chunk of Democratic voters who were still used to him, loyal to him, or believed his claims of being a good Dem on everything but the war.  He can't repeat that next time, because he's become so obviously not a Democrat.  He could try to keep all the Republican votes by actually running as a Republican, or a CfL or something with de-facto Republican backing, but he'll have lost pretty much all of the Democrats who he fooled last time.  Whatever he does, he cannot repeat the coalition he won with last time, so even if he does figure out a way to win, it won't be by coasting.

      • Lieberman may be toast

        Okay, I admit it, I picked that Subject just to rhyme with the subject of my previous comment :)  However, take a look at this: Poll: Lieberman approval rating just 25 percent.  No way he's gonna coast to re-election on that :)

  2. Running for Gov.

    Lamont is running for Governor next year, right?

    I don't know much about Blumenthal but read a bunch and watched some vids this morning.  He reminds me so much of Coakley - great on populist consumer advocacy, but not incredibly inspiring.  

    Perfect resume, no personality, no fire in his belly - he'll fit in perfectly in the Senate.  

  3. Smart enough to take the money and run.

    Gotta hand it to the guy.  He didn't let ego stand in the way. He summed up his chances, thought about the disgrace of puttin' his record before the public and determined it wasn't worth it.  He's gettin' out while the gettin's good.  

    Best of luck when he becomes a lobbyist.

  4. Hmmm

    Dodd went from one of the most popular and safe Dems to the one probably the most likely to be ousted in 2010.

    Hmm, did that slide start on Dec 20, 2007 at 14:30:13 PM EST?  I wonder if this is still true:

    As I said above, on some very big recent issues, Dodd has consistently led, and the others have followed.  I want the leader.
    • The Kiss of Death strikes again!!

      Not satisfied with derailing his slim Presidential hopes, the BMG Kiss of Death destroyed Senator Dodd's approval rating to the point where he had no choice but to retire.

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Wed 27 Aug 5:04 AM