Dodd is looking increasingly vulnerable. The silver-haired father of two young girls is facing his toughest re-election fight ever, and he doesn’t even have an opponent yet. (Though CNBC pundit Larry Kudlow and former GOP Rep. Rob Simmons have both expressed interest in running.) In a January Quinnipiac poll, 51% of Connecticut voters said that they would not vote for Dodd in 2010. . . . Much of Dodd’s current woes stem from a pair of mortgages that he must wish he had never gotten. His reputation still has not recovered from the revelation last year that he received a sweetheart deal on his mortgage, saving upwards of $75,000 courtesy of Countrywide, one of the biggest pushers of the subprime mortgages that have landed the U.S. economy in such dire straits. . . . These days being chairman serves only to remind voters of his own problems with Countrywide and, fairly or not, makes Dodd the face of two deeply unpopular bailouts of Wall Street and an only slightly less unpopular stimulus plan.
Hmm. I wonder about him not actually having an opponant yet. I’ve not done a study on such matters, but it seems to me we’ve had plenty of examples of sitting Congresscritters who were in such situations, and yet managed to survive… whose numbers actually went up, once an opponant was found. Not that the ethics problems he faces are not serious; they are most serious and are currently an impediment to the Democrats as a whole, much less Dodd in particular.
Yet, the election is two years away… and if the people of Connecticut had any serious memory at all, they’d not have re-elected him the last several times.
Still, let’s for the sake of argument aver that I’m wrong about that, and that opponant secured, Dodd is still in trouble, two years hence. At this point, it becomes a question of how coat-tails work in reverse… Can an intensely unpopular congress, with a given ruling party, pull down the re-eection chances of a sitting presdient of the same party?
I suspect it can and does work that way. Our seeing things go that way, I guess depends on voter anger lasting those two years, until the midterms, and then to ’12.
These are all, to my mind, secondary influences to the upcoming elections. Of primary import, I think, is what and who the Republicans offer the voter in ’10 and in ’12. If they come up with watered down conservatism again, they’ll lose again, and this whole conversation will be moot. On the other hand, should they actually come up with conservatives, then all these other questions come into play.