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May 27, 2009 - Dodd Gains On Challenger, But Approval Is Low, Quinnipiac University Connecticut Poll Finds; Honesty Is Dodd's Biggest Problem With Voters

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Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd is gaining on former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, a possible Republican challenger, and now trails 45 - 39 percent in the 2010 Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 50 - 34 percent Simmons lead in an April 2 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey, Simmons leads 86 - 5 percent among Republicans and 53 - 30 percent among independent voters, while Dodd takes Democrats 67 - 16 percent, up from 58 - 27 percent April 2.

Connecticut voters disapprove 53 - 38 percent of the job the Democratic incumbent is doing, compared to 58 - 33 percent April 2, his lowest approval rating ever.

Facing another possible Republican challenger, State Sen. Sam Caligiuri, Sen. Dodd gets 41 percent to Caligiuri's 39 percent, compared to a 41 - 37 percent Republican lead April 2.

Dodd leads Connecticut businessman Merrick Alpert 44 - 24 percent in a Democratic primary while Simmons tops Caligiuri 48 - 10 percent among Republicans.

"Sen. Christopher Dodd's numbers are getting better but they are still lousy. He still has high negatives: About half of the voters don't trust Dodd and disapprove of the job he is doing. And he is still behind Simmons in a general election matchup," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD. "But Dodd is an exceptionally skilled politician, and he has plenty of time. He is lucky to get this early warning more than a year before the election.

"Nobody knows Merrick Alpert, the new challenger to Dodd, and it should be troubling to Dodd that this political nobody is still getting a quarter of the Democratic primary vote."

"The April 2 Quinnipiac University survey was conducted immediately after the news broke about Dodd's involvement in the AIG bonus controversy, and showed Dodd's worst numbers ever. In this survey, Dodd appears to have stopped the bleeding. But he still has a long way to go to restore the trust of Connecticut's voters," Dr. Schwartz added.

Dodd gets a negative 37 - 51 percent favorability rating, compared to 30 - 58 percent April 2. Simmons gets a 34 - 12 percent score, compared to 39 - 12 percent April 2, with 53 percent who still haven't heard enough about him to form an opinion.

For Caligiuri, 87 percent of Connecticut voters don't know enough to form an opinion and 93 percent don't know enough about Alpert.

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 34 percent of voters who approve of Dodd list his experience and/or ability as the main reason.

For those who disapprove, 24 percent list Dodd's overall dishonesty or lack of integrity, with 17 percent who cite his failure to deal with banking industry problems and 11 percent who point specifically to the Countrywide mortgage deal.

Connecticut voters say 49 - 35 percent that Dodd is not honest and trustworthy and say 47 - 42 percent that he does not care about their needs and problems.

Voters say 56 - 35 percent that he has strong leadership qualities and 50 - 41 percent that he pays attention to the needs of Connecticut.

Obama, Rell, Lieberman Approval Ratings

Connecticut voters give President Barack Obama a 71 - 22 percent approval rating, unchanged from April 2.

Gov. Jodi Rell gets a 73 - 20 percent approval rating, including 68 - 23 percent among Democrats.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman gets a 46 - 44 percent split approval rating, little changed from April 2.

From May 20 - 25, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,575 Connecticut registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points. The survey includes 614 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points and 385 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data and RSS feed - http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

1. (If registered Democrat) If the 2010 Democratic primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Chris Dodd and Merrick Alpert, for whom would you vote?

                     REGISTERED DEMOCRATS
                     Tot    Men    Wom


Dodd 44% 50% 40% Alpert 24 23 24 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 3 1 DK/NA 30 23 34



2. (If registered Republican) If the 2010 Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Rob Simmons and Sam Caligiuri, for whom would you vote?

                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     Tot    Men    Wom


Simmons 48% 57% 39% Caligiuri 10 9 10 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 2 2 DK/NA 39 30 49



3. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Chris Dodd the Democrat and Rob Simmons the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Dodd 39% 5% 67% 30% 38% 40% Simmons 45 86 16 53 49 41 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 - 1 3 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - 2 2 1 2 DK/NA 13 8 14 13 10 16

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Farfld Hrtfrd Lchfld NewHvn NewLon

Dodd 44% 41% 24% 38% 35% Simmons 44 43 50 43 52 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 2 - 1 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 1 2 1 1 DK/NA 8 13 24 16 9

Congressional Districts.......... First Second Third Fourth Fifth

Dodd 39% 39% 39% 45% 35% Simmons 43 48 44 42 47 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 2 0 2 3 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 1 2 1 1 DK/NA 15 10 16 10 14

TREND: If the two thousand ten election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were - Chris Dodd the Democrat, Rob Simmons the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                     May 27  Apr 02  Mar 10
                     2009    2009    2009


Dodd 39 34 42 Simmons 45 50 43 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 2 1 DK/NA 13 12 12



4. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Chris Dodd the Democrat and Sam Caligiuri the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Dodd 41% 7% 68% 32% 42% 40% Caligiuri 39 83 11 45 42 36 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 2 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 1 2 2 1 2 DK/NA 17 9 19 19 13 20

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Farfld Hrtfrd Lchfld NewHvn NewLon

Dodd 46% 44% 28% 37% 39% Caligiuri 39 35 45 42 38 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 3 - 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 3 2 1 2 DK/NA 12 16 25 19 20

TREND: If the two thousand ten election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were - Chris Dodd the Democrat, Sam Caligiuri the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                     May 27  Apr 02  Mar 10
                     2009    2009    2009


Dodd 41 37 47 Caligiuri 39 41 34 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 3 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 2 2 DK/NA 17 17 16



5. Is your opinion of - Chris Dodd favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Favorable 37% 8% 57% 31% 38% 35% Unfavorable 51 83 29 58 55 48 Hvn't hrd enough 9 7 10 8 4 13 REFUSED 3 2 4 3 3 3

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Farfld Hrtfrd Lchfld NewHvn NewLon

Favorable 40% 39% 31% 36% 30% Unfavorable 54 46 53 51 56 Hvn't hrd enough 4 12 14 10 10 REFUSED 2 3 2 3 4

TREND: Is your opinion of Chris Dodd favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?

                     May 27  Apr 02  Mar 10  May 10  Feb 19
                     2009    2009    2009    2007    2007


Favorable 37 30 46 45 49 Unfavorable 51 58 45 31 30 Hvn't hrd enough 9 8 7 22 18 REFUSED 3 3 3 2 3



6. Is your opinion of - Rob Simmons favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Favorable 34% 52% 20% 39% 39% 30% Unfavorable 12 3 19 10 15 10 Hvn't hrd enough 53 45 60 50 46 59 REFUSED 1 1 1 1 1 1

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Farfld Hrtfrd Lchfld NewHvn NewLon

Favorable 16% 37% 29% 37% 54% Unfavorable 3 17 10 13 16 Hvn't hrd enough 81 44 58 49 30 REFUSED - 2 3 1 1

TREND: Is your opinion of - Rob Simmons favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?

                     May 27  Apr 02  Mar 10
                     2009    2009    2009


Favorable 34 39 36 Unfavorable 12 12 10 Hvn't hrd enough 53 47 53 REFUSED 1 2 1



7. Is your opinion of - Sam Caligiuri favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Favorable 9% 16% 5% 10% 11% 8% Unfavorable 3 - 4 2 4 2 Hvn't hrd enough 87 84 91 86 85 89 REFUSED 1 - - 1 1 1

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Farfld Hrtfrd Lchfld NewHvn NewLon

Favorable 5% 10% 15% 12% 8% Unfavorable 1 7 - 3 2 Hvn't hrd enough 93 83 84 86 90 REFUSED 1 1 1 - -

TREND: Is your opinion of - Sam Caligiuri favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?

                     May 27  Apr 02  Mar 10
                     2009    2009    2009


Favorable 9 8 9 Unfavorable 3 3 3 Hvn't hrd enough 87 88 88 REFUSED 1 1 1



8. Is your opinion of - Merrick Alpert favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Favorable 4% 1% 7% 4% 5% 3% Unfavorable 2 - 2 2 2 1 Hvn't hrd enough 93 98 91 93 92 95 REFUSED 1 1 - - 1 -

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Farfld Hrtfrd Lchfld NewHvn NewLon

Favorable 4% 5% 1% 4% 8% Unfavorable 1 2 - 3 1 Hvn't hrd enough 94 93 98 93 91 REFUSED 1 - - 1 -



9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jodi Rell is handling her job as Governor?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Approve 73% 83% 68% 74% 69% 76% Disapprove 20 13 23 20 23 17 DK/NA 7 4 8 6 7 7

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Farfld Hrtfrd Lchfld NewHvn NewLon

Approve 85% 67% 68% 71% 68% Disapprove 10 25 24 21 24 DK/NA 4 8 8 8 9

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jodi Rell is handling her job as Governor?

                                                             APPROVE......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 27  Apr 02  Mar 10  Feb 10  Dec 17  Jan 13  Jul 1
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2008    2005    2008


Approve 73 72 75 75 68 83 65 Disapprove 20 22 19 19 20 3 23 DK/NA 7 6 6 6 12 14 12



10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Lieberman is handling his job as United States Senator?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Approve 46% 68% 37% 45% 50% 44% Disapprove 44 24 53 44 42 46 DK/NA 10 8 10 10 9 11

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Farfld Hrtfrd Lchfld NewHvn NewLon

Approve 50% 48% 39% 47% 39% Disapprove 43 42 45 44 47 DK/NA 7 10 15 9 13

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joseph Lieberman is handling his job as United States Senator?

                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 27  Apr 02  Mar 10  Feb 10  Dec 17  Sep 21  Dec 17
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2008    2000    2008


Approve 46 46 46 45 38 80 38 Disapprove 44 47 46 48 54 14 54 DK/NA 10 7 8 7 8 6 8



11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Dodd is handling his job as United States Senator?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Approve 38% 12% 58% 31% 37% 39% Disapprove 53 82 32 59 57 49 DK/NA 10 6 10 10 6 13

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Farfld Hrtfrd Lchfld NewHvn NewLon

Approve 38% 43% 30% 36% 34% Disapprove 56 45 52 54 57 DK/NA 6 12 18 10 8

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Dodd is handling his job as United States Senator?

                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 27  Apr 02  Mar 10  Feb 10  Dec 17  Apr 19  Apr 02
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2008    2001    2009


Approve 38 33 49 41 47 71 33 Disapprove 53 58 44 48 41 16 58 DK/NA 10 9 7 11 12 13 9



12a. (If approve q11) What is the main reason why you approve of the way Chris Dodd is handling his job as United States Senator?

                                   APPROVE Q11
                                   Tot


Agree on issues total 19% Agree with him on issues/ Policies in general 11 Healthcare issue 1 Economic issues/Bailout 4 Credit card laws 3

Experienced politician/Can get things done 17%

Good job as senator/Track record/ Been good for CT 17%

Compassionate/Cares about CT/ Cares about people 7%

Like him total 11% No reason in particular/ Just like him 7 Nothing to disapprove of/ Like everything 4

Good Democrat 5%

Intelligent total 3% Has good judgment/ Good decision maker 2 Knowledgeable/Intelligent 1

Strength/Character total 3% Strong beliefs/stands up for what he believes in 1 Honest/Has integrity 2

Political philosophy 1%

Other specify 4% DK/NA 14%



12b. (If disapprove q11) What is the main reason why you disapprove of the way Chris Dodd is handling his job as United States Senator?

                                   DISAPPROVE Q11
                                   Tot


Dishonest/Lacks integrity 24%

Job on banking committee total 17% Banking committee/Ties to banking industry/Subprime mtg problem 15 Caused economic mess 2

Countrywide mortgage deal 11%

Doesn't care about CT total 9% Doesn't care about CT/Doesn't care about people 4 Not in touch with the people 1 Out for himself 3 Moved to Iowa 1

Disagree on issues total 8% Disagree with him on issues(General) 3 Economic issues/Bailout 5

Been around too long/ Insider politician 6%

Dislike him total 6% No reason in particular/ Just don't like him 5 Nothing to approve of/ Dislike everything 1

AIG bonuses/AIG controversy 5%

Track record/Bad job for CT 3%

Too wishy-washy/changes his mind too much 1%

Other specify 6% DK/NA 4%



13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Richard Blumenthal is handling his job as State Attorney General?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Approve 78% 67% 83% 80% 77% 79% Disapprove 9 19 4 7 10 8 DK/NA 13 14 13 12 13 13

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Farfld Hrtfrd Lchfld NewHvn NewLon

Approve 81% 78% 65% 80% 74% Disapprove 5 10 14 9 9 DK/NA 14 12 21 11 17

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Richard Blumenthal is handling his job as State Attorney General?

                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 27  Mar 10  Feb 10  Jul 27  Apr 6   Mar 10  Nov 23
                     2009    2009    2009    2005    2005    2009    2004


Approve 78 81 79 73 76 81 71 Disapprove 9 10 12 14 15 10 15 DK/NA 13 9 9 13 9 9 13



14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Approve 71% 33% 93% 68% 67% 74% Disapprove 22 57 3 22 26 18 DK/NA 7 10 4 10 7 8

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?

                     May 27  Apr 02  Mar 10  Feb 11
                     2009    2009    2009    2009


Approve 71 71 67 69 Disapprove 22 22 23 18 DK/NA 7 7 10 13



15. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Connecticut today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Very satisfied 3% 5% 4% 2% 3% 3% Smwht satisfied 53 43 62 50 50 55 Smwht dissatisfied 29 32 23 33 30 28 Very dissatisfied 13 17 11 12 14 12 DK/NA 2 1 1 3 2 2

TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Connecticut today? Very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     May 27  Mar 10  Feb 10  Dec 17  Jul 1   Oct 21  Mar 13
                     2009    2009    2009    2008    2008    1998    2003


Very Satisfied 3 3 4 2 4 21 4 Smwht Satisfied 53 39 37 41 37 62 32 Smwht Dissatisfied 29 36 38 35 35 14 34 Very Dissatisfied 13 21 21 20 24 3 29 DK/NA 2 1 1 1 1 - 1



16. Do you think Chris Dodd should or should not run for reelection to the United States Senate?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Should 39% 18% 54% 35% 40% 38% Should Not 50 72 33 57 53 48 DK/NA 11 10 13 8 8 14



17. Would you say that Chris Dodd is honest and trustworthy or not?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Yes 35% 17% 51% 30% 38% 33% No 49 73 30 56 52 47 DK/NA 15 10 19 13 10 20

TREND: Would you say that Chris Dodd is honest and trustworthy or not?

                     May 27  Apr 02  Feb 10
                     2009    2009    2009


Yes 35 32 41 No 49 54 42 DK/NA 15 13 17



18. Would you say that Chris Dodd has strong leadership qualities or not?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Yes 56% 33% 73% 53% 55% 58% No 35 60 18 40 39 32 DK/NA 9 8 9 7 6 11

TREND: Would you say that Chris Dodd has strong leadership qualities or not?

                     May 27  Apr 02
                     2009    2009


Yes 56 50 No 35 43 DK/NA 9 7



19. Would you say that Chris Dodd shares your views on issues that you care about or not?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Yes 37% 12% 59% 31% 39% 36% No 48 81 25 54 50 46 DK/NA 15 8 17 15 10 18



20. Would you say that Chris Dodd cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Yes 42% 21% 59% 36% 43% 41% No 47 72 28 55 50 46 DK/NA 11 8 13 9 8 13

TREND: Would you say that Chris Dodd cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?

                     May 27  Apr 02
                     2009    2009


Yes 42 39 No 47 52 DK/NA 11 9



21. Would you say that Chris Dodd pays attention to the needs of Connecticut or not?

                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Yes 50% 29% 68% 42% 49% 50% No 41 64 21 49 43 40 DK/NA 9 7 10 9 8 10