CT-Sen: Simmons Will Challenge Dodd

It’s on:

Former Republican Rep. Rob Simmons said Sunday that he plans to run against Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd.

Simmons said he made the decision to join the race after talking with relatives.

“The family had a long meeting today and was unanimous that I run,” he said in an e-mail message to The Associated Press. “So I am running.”

This is a pretty huge score for John Cornyn and the NRSC. While Simmons did get washed out (barely) in the 2006 Democratic landslide, he held onto a D+7.6 district for three terms after beating a complacent incumbent, Sam Gejdenson, in 2000. Simmons will bring some serious chops to the table in a state that hasn’t seen the GOP field a viable Senate candidate in, well, decades. A recent Q-poll even showed Simmons edging Dodd by a 43-42 margin.

While Dodd will still be considered the early favorite in this deep blue state, this is shaping up to be the most challenging campaign since he began his Senate career. How aggressively Dodd moves to rehabilitate his image and deflect Simmons’ scrappy attacks will be of particular interest in the coming weeks — and months.

(Hat-tip: trowaman)

42 thoughts on “CT-Sen: Simmons Will Challenge Dodd”

  1. I just wish Dodd would retire gracefully and let Joe Courtney or Chris Murphy take over.

  2. I still don’t buy Simmons as being any real threat.  Early prediction: Dodd 57% Simmons 43%.  I’d be shocked if he comes within 10 points.  Mark Kennedy of 2010.

  3. I don’t buy people not buying Dodd being in serious jeopardy.  You are doing so at our peril.  I would say without a doubt right now, Dodd will lose his seat.  I can’t see him being able to do anything to save it.  He just looks horrible.  Moderates and Conservatives blame him and Frank for the Mortgage mess (Wrongly of course, but nonetheless) and Liberals are still wondering why the hell he ran for President?  Barring Simmons being a horrible candidate or Dodd retiring or being primaried, this seat is gone.

  4. unless there are more scandals that are to come about Dodd.

    On the other hand, this is a real challenge which will waste resources that would go to other states which we are playing offense.  

  5. an institution with lots of clout, in a state whose partisan leanings heavily favor him, harmed by accusations of corruption (the mortgage he recieved at better terms than normal).  it will come down to a hair either way.  either he will be the first in the last few cycles to be in these circumstances and win, or he will o down by a few thousand (hundred?) votes like burns and stevens did.  he’s vulnerable, but not doomed.  partisan leanings will probably have dodd do better than the polls show (like how burns and especially stevens almost won, despite polls showing them doing much worse.)

  6. I hate these long term senators just getting passes time in and time out, they forget that they are actually elected officials, accountable to the people of their states. Too many senators have been in offices for 20+ years, and have yet to receive a serious challenge. I say as an early predictor, that Dodd will manage to survive, but I say give him a good run for his money. Make him work for it!

  7. Connecticut is pretty strong Obama country.  If Obama campaigns for Dodd — and if Dodd has the $$ and the hardball advertising to paint Simmons as the Bush-conservative Republican that he is — then Dodd will definitely win.

    Remember, right now the polls are a referendum on Dodd, and people aren’t happy.  But in the general election, Dodd can make this about Obama’s policy agenda, which he supports, and which Simmons will filibuster.  No way 50% of Connecticut wants to install another Republican filibuster-bot in the Senate.  (Some direct campaigning by Obama would help drive home that point.)

  8. lose, nor to win.  He is in jeopardy, but has the means to recover.  It is WAY TOO EARLY for any predictions. No one is unbeatable, particularly when the hint or actuality of scandal is present.    

  9. where someone was confidently predicting which republicans would beat Sen Franken in 2014.  I would say that given likely messy primaries on the GOP side and the strong candidates on our side in MO and NH, Hodes and Carnahan are maybe the slightest of favorites.  Everything else, including rumors of Dodd’s demise, seems just way too premature.

    Dodd, unlike Burns, Bunning, and Stevens, is not a crotchety extremist or a poor fundraiser, I’m certainly hopeful about this race.

  10. I say this with limited knowledge of Connecticut politics (and I was born in New Haven!  I should be ashamed of myself) and no particular disagreement with Dodd’s positions on anything, but is there any chance of a primary challenge?  Would it be easier to elect Dodd or a less controversial non-incumbent?

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