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