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Chris Dodd's White House Surprise

Catching much of the political world by surprise, Sen. Chris Dodd said Monday he is taking the steps to run for president in 2008, a move that makes the Connecticut Democrat the sixth senator from his party to float a potential a national candidacy.

Sen. Chris Dodd
Sen. Dodd surprised many political insiders this week when he announced his interest in a 2008 White House run. (AP)

"This is the right time for me," Dodd told the Hartford Courant in a lengthy interview that ran in today's edition. "This is the right thing to do."

Dodd is no stranger to flirting with presidential politics. He considered a White House run in 2004 but ultimately decided against it, deferring to his Constitution State colleague Joe Lieberman, who ran unsuccessfully. Following the 2004 election, Dodd was mentioned as a possible candidate for governor but decided to stay put.

Although Dodd is widely respected as a politician, the challenge before him is substantial. He starts from nearly a dead stop when it comes to fundraising and building the sort of national network necessary to run a viable campaign.

At the end of March, Dodd had $2 million in his Senate campaign account -- a respectable total but nowhere near the $20 million warchest of New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton or the $10 million that Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh has in reserve. Dodd's leadership PAC -- Citizens for Hope, Responsibility, Independence & Service (CHRIS PAC -- ugh!) -- collected $34,000 in the first three months of the year and had $111,000 in the bank at the end of March. By contrast, the leadership PAC of ex-Virginia Gov. Mark Warner raised $1.9 million in the quarter, ending March with $3.2 million in the bank.

In each of his past two reelection races (2004 and 1998) -- neither of which were at all competitive -- Dodd raised and spent approximately $4 million. Given the current cash positions of other potential candidates, Dodd will likely need to raise at least double that amount by March 2007 to be competitive.

Dodd seems likely to position himself to the ideological left of almost every candidate currently in the field with the possible exception of Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold. While Dodd has compiled a largely liberal voting record during his 26 years in the Senate, he will struggle to distinguish himself from the pack given his 2002 vote in favor of the use of force resolution against Iraq. Dodd has since disavowed that vote, but it will likely complicate his courting of the liberal base of the party.

The long term prognosis for Dodd's candidacy is iffy (at best), though he did win kudos for the way in which he rolled out the announcement of his White House interest. In the hours leading up to the Courant's story going live at 10 p.m. ET last night, Dodd operatives reached out to a huge number of party insiders simply to give them a head's up -- a move that won Dodd some short-term appreciation.

One other interesting note about a Dodd presidential candidacy: Doug Sosnik, a former Dodd chief of staff, is quoted in the Courant story and mentioned as one of the people the senator consulted with as he weighed a bid. Sosnik has long been expected to be with Mark Warner in 2008, as the two men are close personal friends.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 23, 2006; 4:29 PM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party , Eye on 2008  
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Next: Parsing the Polls: 2006 -- A Bush Referendum?

Comments

Care to enlighten us, oh courageously anonymous one?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | May 27, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Most of you posters know little about politics and are clearly not party insiders for the way you talk about Dodd not being a serious contender.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2006 1:46 AM | Report abuse

How anyone thinks Dodd can win the "liberal base" by backing Lieberman over Lamont in the Connecticut Democatic primary is beyond me.

Lamont v. Lieberman is shaping up to one of the biggest battles in the netroots' fight for the soul of the Democratic Party. If Lieberman bolts to run as an independent, will Dodd support Lamont as the Democratic candidate?

Posted by: w0551 | May 25, 2006 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Josh, why do you assume that just because someone comes from a blue state, they can't possibly win a single red state?? I do believe that's true of Clinton, but not because she comes from NY.

It's not at all clear that Edwards would've won reelection to the Senate--if it were don't you think he would have run?? The truth is he was in a lot of trouble with a lot of people in NC.

Indiana hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964. In the last election, it gave Bush a 21 point majority. There is no way Bayh could carry IN in a presidential election. It's like thinking we could win ND or SD just because they elect Democrats to Congress. Warner has a much better shot of carrying VA, which voted for Bush by 9 points in 2004.

RMill: ~30 seats seems more reasonable, but still at the very rosy upper end of what we should expect. We only gained 26 seats in 1982 after losing 33 in 1980. We gained a lot more in 1974, but we've got a ways to go before the national climate gets that decidedly toxic. Still, it seems quite possible we will retake the House this fall. Getting to 50 Senate seats may be easier than 218 in the House though. 51 is the real challenge.

True Believer: Hillary Clinton is not REMOTELY a liberal (wanna explain her support for the war?), but I do agree with your conclusions. I'm supporting Russ Feingold, the champion of a balanced budget amendment and pay as you go budgeting. He's won 3 statewide races in a swing state (WI), and his integrity, independence, and authenticity would appeal to people in a number of red states I think, without losing any blue ones.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | May 25, 2006 6:54 PM | Report abuse

If the Dems nominate Hillary, we lose and lose badly.

I have no problem with her, but the fact of the matter is that we are likely to have an excellent opportunity to recapture the White House and change the disasterous course that our country is currently on.

We need to think strategically and put a vote getter on the ticket who can appeal to church-going, fiscally concerned moderates in the Midwest, Mountain West and border states. A candidate can do this without selling out and being Republican lite, the candidate can succeed by sticking with core principles and giving respect and consideration to the concerns of the moderate Republicans, Independents and conservative Dems who have been deserting the national Dem party in presidential elections.

It is great to have fantasies of a liberal re-awakening but nothing is going to change in the USA until the Dems decide to run a campaign like they want to win.

Concerned that we will blow it again.

Posted by: true believer | May 25, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Cook Report

This is one of the sources I use in my analysis. Interestingly, on May 12, Cook reported 11 seats Lean or Toss up for Dems and 24 for Reps. One week later, after the latest spate of generic polling on Congress, it was 10 for Dems and 36 for Reps. It was 11D and 24R for the entire month of April and most of March (one report had 11D and 25R). It was 11D and 21R for February and January had 10D and 18R.

Essentially, the Dems have lost no ground in seats they are defending since January 2006 while the Republicans competitive seat total has DOUBLED in the first half of 2006.

This suggests that Cook is acknowledging that the tide is decidely turning against Republicans, at this point.

Posted by: RMill | May 25, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Presidential Approval and Loss/Gain of House/Senate seats

All-

I agree that 46 seats is unlikely. My analysis of the competitive seats as I stated in the Dodd thread (sorry I should have included here)later, leads me to believe much less (range of 11-21 seats).

There is obviously no direct linear corrolation between a pertcentage point of Presidential approval and number of House seats. It is only a generic tool. Using a moving average progression trend line, the range given at 33% approval is a more reasonable and believable number of between 28 and 31 seats.

With the Senate, it is more statistically problematic but the moving average gives a 3-4 seat range.

CA 50 will be an interesting indicator race. If Dem Busby beats Rep Bilbray on June 6, we could see the signs of the upper end of the scale (17-21 seats likely), while R's retaining that seat would indicate a more modest midterm outcome (11-16 seats).

Posted by: RMill | May 25, 2006 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The question ever Democrat should contemplate before supporting any Democrat is which Democrat can turn red states into blue states. Certainly Chris Dodd can't accomplish this. Conn. is one of the bluest states in America. Certainly Hillary can't do this, New York too is one of the bluest states in America and she has done worse in the rural portions of the state than Kerry and Gore did. Of course we know how bad Kerry and Gore did in rural areas, so Hillary is ruled out, which leaves Edwards, Evan Bayh, and Mark Warner. These Dems are proven Republican and Independent vote getters. Edwards would have won reelection to the Senate, and in 2004 North Caroline voters voted for Kerry not Edwards. Bayh has won 5 state wide elections in one of the most red states in America. So he might be the top choice in electability. Mark Warner has had an 80% approval rating in Virginia, and has helped many Dems and his Lt. Gov to win elections in the state because of his popularity. Dems in the state actually run on being a Mark Warner Democrat. He is a Southern Gov with a much praised record on rebounding Virginia on many matters such as fiscally, economically, education, health care, technologically, and made Virginia the most prepared for a biochemical terrorist attack out of any other state. So these three Dems can win, but when it comes down to it. It is a matter of choice, which of these three Dems do you like the most or which of these Democrats will lead this country the best. My personal support if for John Edwards. Like many say he is the JFK of our generation, but Bayh and Warner are Democrats I could easily support.

Posted by: Josh | May 25, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I think that's right. JFK was only 39 in 1956 and widely seen as a lightweight. Truman didn't like him.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | May 25, 2006 3:35 AM | Report abuse

Tina, about 1956: as I remember it, JFK did not make his name by running for the presidential nomination that year, but by running for the VP slot once Adlai Stevenson had left that choice to the convention. He is said to have been glad he didn't get the nomination, since he would then have been associated with a losing ticket. But he did get his name before the public as a boost for 1960.

Posted by: Kakuzan | May 25, 2006 2:24 AM | Report abuse

RMill, according to your analysis, how many Senate and House seats is each point of presidential approval rating worth?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | May 24, 2006 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Caped Composer: I went back and reread your earlier post. You *were* right; I stand corrected.

Q makes an excellent point, and I remember reading a NY Times article about this phenomenon in 1992. Democrats overvalue VP candidates (though I think, and thought, Gore was an excellent choice for Clinton). Among the harmful JFK myths we hold onto is the idea, because in 1960 LBJ helped Kennedy carry TX, that somehow putting a running mate from a tough state on the ticket will win that state for the ticket (like this pure fantasy talk about Bayh carrying IN for us). The truth is it's never happened *except* in 1960.

It's not clear to me that Edwards would have won reelection to the Senate, and that's ultimately un-knowable. But definitely to build his experience and maintain his relevance, he should have run. Chuck Tood has a good column this week on how many of these presidential candidates are coming out of the woodwork for 2008 because if Dems win then, there isn't another opening for one until 2016; for a lot of Dems 2008 is do or die. Edwards is one of them. Had he stayed in the Senate, that wouldn't be the case.

Tina's comment is not only factually incorrect, as usual, but appropos of nothing preceding it. Tina, I live in Canada--A PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM--and we do not have runoffs here until someone gets 50% of the vote. Stephen Harper was elected Prime Minister of Canada in January of this year with under 40% of the national vote. It's whoever's party wins the most seats in the House of Commons; it's the American South where runoffs are commonly used (a holdover from the post-Reconstruction era when whites wanted to make sure no black could ever get elected to office).

RMill, that's an interesting analysis, and admirable data-gathering on your part. But the rules of politics have changed a lot and I don't think you can predict congressional seat changes based on the President's approval rating anymore. Coattails are old history now. A 5 seat gain in the Senate is possible, but 46 in the House is still the territory of the Department of Wishing and Praying (as my old gov't teacher used to say). I do note that in last week's update, Charlie Cook listed 20 Democratic House seats and 55 Republican ones as competitive; if all of those flipped, we'd gain 35 seats. Even that is unlikely. We're definitely gaining seats, but until something more Nixonian happens to Bush and the Republicans, I can't seriously see us gaining 46 seats. But I'd love it if we did!!! The Post has already reported that the White House is making plans for a Democratic House of Representatives in 2007-08.

At least Dodd is a lot better than Joe-mentum Lieberman!

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | May 24, 2006 10:55 PM | Report abuse

that they could use this to avoide indictment????????


?

hwat the eff is this:


"President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations."

this this seem a little like a scam?


cia fbi nsa intelligence committee, hearing on capitol hill expressions of rage.

.

Posted by: do you think | May 24, 2006 9:41 PM | Report abuse

hwat the eff is this:


"President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations."

does this seem a little like an overthrow of the United States government and oversight...?


have we lost democracy again?


can you help us bring the picture back into focus?


cia fbi nsa intelligence committee, hearing on capitol hill expressions of rage.

.

Posted by: and this: | May 24, 2006 9:40 PM | Report abuse

unless you mean a scam in the form of voter fraud is a loss...


and how many crooked people are coming out of florida?

goss, jeb, mafia/cia/cuba/bayofpigs/walker/geoh.w.bush/fbinvestigation please....

see if you can tie the bus h family the cia and mafia in to one ball...set in on fire and throw it in the ocean.

.

Posted by: gore didn't lose in 2000 | May 24, 2006 9:20 PM | Report abuse

must be areal threat the way her name keeps coming up and people say that they wouldn't want to vote for her.


why are people so in favor of making fools of htemselves...

eh, shook ....erum robert noval

Posted by: I would imagine that Hilary | May 24, 2006 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Is Gore the UN-Hillary? With Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, John Kerry, John Edwards, Mark Warner and Russ Feingold are all going to seek the UN-Hillary side of the Democrats.
As I have stated before, the political pie is being divided into various bits, and right now, Hillary has the top with Gore as second banana.
Gore is still blaming Clinton for not doing more to help win Arkansas or any other Southern state but at the same time, Gore bragged he was his own man. So which is it?

Dodd might be the top dog in his state, but in a head to head to head to head matchup against all the other Democrats running for president, he might be lucky to be a VP for 2008.
Look at Tom Harkin who ran for president in 1992, he won Iowa, his home state. Big Whoop. By the time of New Hampshire and the other primary states, Harkin was in the toilet.

If Dodd can use his $2 million to generate more funds, then he will be a player on the 2008 ballots. If he fails to gain momentum to climb up the polls to show he is viable, only then will he be able to participate in 2008.
Starting now is pretty normal, most candidates have started 2 years ahead of the next presidential election to build support and raise money. Look at JFK. The book, "The Making of the President" was written all about the 1960 race, and JFK had run for president in 1956 as well. This is nothing new, folks, and the media has been debating the 2008 race for the White House since October 2004, yes, and it was all about Hillary running for 2008.

Posted by: Tina | May 24, 2006 6:11 PM | Report abuse

To Tina: Just because Gore (sort of) lost in 2000 doesn't mean he can't necessarily win in 2008. Nixon lost a close one in 60 and won in 68, in circumstances that are a little similar to current ones (meaning, an unpopular war). It depends on Gore, how much he wants it, and whether he's ready to put together a good campaign. His connection to the Clinton administration may be a big plus this time around.

To Peter L.: I think you're right on the money, and I hope the Democrats think the same thing. Politics have become more and more regional, and trying to appeal to everyone at this point will win no-one. The fact that some red states (especially Virgina) are turning purple just cuts the Dem's work out for them. Count on the solid blues, focus on the purples, and you'll get to the White House.

Posted by: james | May 24, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I analyzed Presidential Approval results from Gallup in May of each mid-term election year since Gallup has been doing it (1950).

President.Loss/Gain of Pres Party
Bush......House....Senate
2006 33%..
2002 71%....+6......+2
Clinton
1998 64%....+9......-2
1994 51%....-54.....-8
GHWBush
1990 66%....-9......+1
Reagan
1986 68%....-5......-8
1982 45%....-26.....0
Carter
1978 43%....-15.....-3
Nixon
1974 28%....-47.....-5
1970 59%....-12.....+2
Johnson
1966 51%....-47.....-4
Kennedy
1962 71%....-4......+3
Eisenhower
1958 53%....-47.....-3
1954 60%....-18.....-1
Truman
1950 41%....-29.....-6

Based upon linear progression trend lines for the above data, and May approval for Bush at 33% in May 2006 according to Gallup Monthly Survey, Republicans stand to lose 46 House seats and 5 Senate seats.

Current balance of power in Senate:(change in parentheses)

Rep 55 (50)
Dem 44 (49)
Ind 1 (1)
Tie goes to Rep because of VP

House:
Rep 231 (185)
Dem 201 (250)
Ind 1 (0)

2 vacant (1 R- Cunningham; 1 D- Menendez) Both have elections in June.

Posted by: RMill | May 24, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm registered to vote in Chicago, and I'm proud to be one of Obama's constituents. I definitely think he needs more experience before he runs for national office-- perhaps a stint as Illinois Governor. I'm going to vote for Blagojevich this November, but in the worst case scenario, if Topinka wins, Obama would be well-suited to challenge her in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

Posted by: The Caped Composer | May 24, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Dodd May approval (Survey USA)is pulling only 55% (37% disapproval), worse than Lieberman.

It is an exercise in ego (The time is right for ME!). The Senate is populated with 100 wannbe Presidents.

He has no national presence or standing. No network, no particular accumen for fundraising and what issue has he led on?

He'll get a pass on his "laundry issues" if he contains himself to CT and the voters will probably keep him around another term but its all fair game if he steps out of his quiet little box. Zero impact.

On Obama-

Wildly popular in his homestate (70% May approval) and he is telegenic and articulate. He is still searching for an identity in the Senate. If he came out in 2008, he would be John Edwards, make a good run but not for the long haul. Better to conserve momentum and build his base of support. He needs something to bring him into the national cnsciousness. Democratic control of the Senate after mid-terms (should that happen) would provide him an opportunity to do so.

Bush's loss of Republican support is marked and across many polls. It is not anecdotal. Idaho, Utah and Wyoming are the only states where he has a net positive on approval/disapproval. He is -14 in Texas.

Last June 2005, ABC had Bush approval/disapproval at 48%/51%, the first time his unfavs outwieghed favs. He got 68% fav from Conservatives,44% from moderates and 24% from Liberals. 84% fav from Republicans, 38% from Independents and 21% from Democrats.

Nearly a year later, May 2006 numbers, his overall favs were 31%/65% disapproval; 52% of Conservatives and 68% of Republicans gave him a favorable rating. This is a pronounced erosion of the President's political base.

Posted by: RMill | May 24, 2006 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Mark Warner would carry VA. CARRY!

Posted by: Bruce Wayne | May 24, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Funny how the Democrats are still beating the DEAD donkey of Al Gore, HE LOST.
He lost his home state of Tennesee by 100,000 votes, and if he had won it or Arkansas, he would have won the White House. If the Democrats are going to yap about the electoral college, they could give their blessings to the system which put Clinton into the White House in 1992 when he had only 43% of the vote.
If we lived under a Parliment system, the vote would have gone to a run-off, knocking out Ross Perot with his 19% of the vote.
The electoral college is the system we use to decide which leader will become our president. So let's at least get that part of the debate straight.
Now if Dodd and raise the money and starts to win support in Iowa or New Hampshire, like about 15% or so, he will be a contender. Otherwise, he will join another has been like Tom Dashel on the sidelines of the 2008 race.

Posted by: Tina | May 24, 2006 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Sandwich Repairman, I'm the one who got it right-- Peter was the one who mistakenly identified Mark Warner as John Warner, and I corrected him. Read a little more carefully next time!

Beyond that, I definitely agree with your assertion that the Democratic party needs to rebuild itself as a national party, rather than barely eking by with a blue-states-plus-one formula.

And as for Dodd . . . well, I guess he wants an extra paragraph in his Wikipedia entry. That's all that his run for the presidency will get him!

Posted by: The Caped Composer | May 24, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

1. I think Barack Obama looks as good as he does because he's young, dynamic, relatively handsome, a good speaker....in other words, he's someone with a lot of potential for the future, plus he's the most universally appealing African American Democrat in a long time. Most African-American Democratic officeholders have little widespread appeal outside of their own state or Congressional District.

2. Most of the speculation about Bush losing support among Conservatives is based more on anecdotal evidence about the immigration debate and talk radio than it is about polling numbers.

3. As I said earlier, Dodd has little chance of ever even making the race for the nomination, much less getting elected. I think he may be simply gauging how well-liked and/or respected he is among the party members--and I hope his feelings don't get hurt too badly.

Posted by: Staley | May 24, 2006 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Polling by Charlie Cook about Bush.

( Charlie contradicts what they have been saying about Bush's slide in approval numbers. How many times, did we read Bush was losing his conservative support. Charlie says no, it is because Bush is losing republican moderates and republican liberals) Hmmm?

Here is his analysis of the numbers.

Charlie Cook writes:
The most interesting thing about Bush's slide is where he is losing support. In Gallup's January polls, his approval ratings averaged 10.7 percent among Democrats. This month, he's averaging 8 percent Democratic approval, a loss of just 2.7 percentage points. Among independents, the president averaged a 31 percent approval in January polls, compared with 24.5 percent this month, a decline of only 6.5 percentage points. But among Republicans, he has plunged 17 points -- from 86 percent approval in January to 69 percent in May.

Bush's loss of support among Republicans isn't uniform. Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz points out, "To read the news, you'd assume that Bush's biggest problem right now is reinforcing his support among conservatives." Abramowitz notes, however, that Gallup's analysis shows that in both its April 10-13 and April 28-30 polls, Bush's approval rating was 79 percent among conservative Republicans. It dropped a mere 2 points among GOP conservatives in the May 5-7 and May 8-11 surveys.

But among the rest of the GOP (moderates and liberals combined), Bush's approval rating was 65 percent in each of the two April surveys, then dropped 10 points in the first May survey and another 10 points -- to 45 percent -- in the most recent survey.

Posted by: Wells | May 24, 2006 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious. Why do some many people love Obama. Not disrespect, but has the guy done anything yet. Yes, I know he is a good speaker, but so are a lot of people. What are his strengths besides the above?

Posted by: Obama?? | May 24, 2006 7:55 AM | Report abuse

(Off Topic / But Very Interesting)

Polling by Charlie Cook about Bush.

( Charle contradicts what they have been saying about Bush's slide in approval numbers. How many times, did we read Bush was losing his conservative support. Charlie says no, it is because Bush is losing republican moderates) Hmmm?

King of Zouk this goes back to my premise that northern republicans are abandoning the republican party - that is why north eastern and northern midwest house seats are in danger.

Charlie Cook writes:
The most interesting thing about Bush's slide is where he is losing support. In Gallup's January polls, his approval ratings averaged 10.7 percent among Democrats. This month, he's averaging 8 percent Democratic approval, a loss of just 2.7 percentage points. Among independents, the president averaged a 31 percent approval in January polls, compared with 24.5 percent this month, a decline of only 6.5 percentage points. But among Republicans, he has plunged 17 points -- from 86 percent approval in January to 69 percent in May.

Bush's loss of support among Republicans isn't uniform. Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz points out, "To read the news, you'd assume that Bush's biggest problem right now is reinforcing his support among conservatives." Abramowitz notes, however, that Gallup's analysis shows that in both its April 10-13 and April 28-30 polls, Bush's approval rating was 79 percent among conservative Republicans. It dropped a mere 2 points among GOP conservatives in the May 5-7 and May 8-11 surveys.

But among the rest of the GOP (moderates and liberals combined), Bush's approval rating was 65 percent in each of the two April surveys, then dropped 10 points in the first May survey and another 10 points -- to 45 percent -- in the most recent survey.

Posted by: Wells | May 24, 2006 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Dodd and Biden are both joke candidates. The DC talking heads will love them, but they just aren't presidents. Both are from small Atlantic states which are safe for the Democrats, which makes them unattractive as running mates. It appears there are going to be a ton of joke candidates this time, Mike Gravel being among the worst. There will probably be at least 15 candidates at their debates, making any debate impossible. Hillary is hoping for a big field because that'll make it harder for anyone else to distinguish themselves as her primary opposition.

Posted by: Q | May 23, 2006 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Some folks may be skeptical about a Dodd candidacy but remember, he is a former Democratic Party Chairman and posseses the knowledge and vision on foreign and domestic issues that could resonate across America. He has the political savvy and charisma that seperates him from the "frontrunners." Chris Dodd will surprise a lot of people.

Posted by: NYDem91 | May 23, 2006 11:03 PM | Report abuse

You mean Kerry did not win North Carolina. Fox actually did a poll on election day that showed Edwards would have held his Senate seat had he sought re-election. I don't know how many times this needs to be said, but I'll say it again: people vote for President, not Vice President. Lloyd Bentsen (RIP) could not "deliver" Texas for Dukakis. Earl Warren (the most popular politician in California history) could not "deliver" California for Tom Dewey in 1948. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,137521,00.html Check it out: "If Edwards had run for reelection against Republican Richard Burr, it appears Edwards would have held on to his seat by a 53 percent -- 47 percent margin. Seven percent of those voters that would have voted for Edwards voted for Burr." Whoops, I guess that whole thing about Edwards "not being able to win his home state" was a bunch of nonsense after all.

Posted by: Q | May 23, 2006 10:50 PM | Report abuse

This is a wonderfully useful site that I love: http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/politics/2004_ELECTIONGUIDE_GRAPHIC/index.html

Even with IA, NM, NH, and NV (which with no other changes would create a 269-269 tie in 2008), you need OH or FL to win. Those 2 states are key. Luckily Ohio is about to elect a Democratic Governor and a lot of other Dems this year.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | May 23, 2006 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Caped Composer: John Warner is the senior senator from VA. Mark Warner is its former one-term governor.

I think Obama should just run in 08 before his star tarnishes. We don't have anyone else who could do nearly what he could. In the meantime, I'm supporting Feingold.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | May 23, 2006 10:30 PM | Report abuse

We're hardly about to set a record for most presidential candidates in the primary.

Indiana voted for Bush over Kerry by 21 points in 2004. Bayh as VP or at the top of the ticket will not sway enough, maybe nearly enough, of those voters to win the state. NC voted for Bush by 12 points, VA by 9.

In the short term, yes, all the Dems need to do is hold onto the blue states (preferably including the 3 that switched from 2000 to 04: IA, NM and NH) and add a marginal red state like NV (2 points), OH (2), or FL (5). In the longer term though, I think the Dems need to focus not on a strategy of just barely getting to 270, but of rebuilding the entire party from the ground up so we have a surer and longer term majority. Remember that most of the states gaining population vote Republican, and vice-versa. WA and OR are among the exceptions.

http://sandwichrepair.blogspot.com

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | May 23, 2006 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Edwards is also a "has been" - - - did not even win his home state of NC.

Posted by: proud liberal from Red State, USA | May 23, 2006 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Dodd will be out of the race in no time.

Gore is a "has been" - - let alone winning the popular vote, he couldn't even win his home state of TN.

Posted by: proud liberal from Red State, USA | May 23, 2006 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Not

Posted by: mike | May 23, 2006 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ... huh? Whuzzah? Dodd? ... (blink-blink) ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ....

Posted by: DuaneWayne | May 23, 2006 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I would put down a good sum of money that Dodd is one of the first Dems out of the race. I would also put money down that Al Gore will get back in the race. I am surprised that The Fix has not done a report on Al Gore's come back this week. His movie at Cannes was well recieved and the drums for 2008 are being heard from the Gore camp. George Will posed that Hillary will not have any challenger from the left in the primaries unless Al Gore gets in the race. This is very true. Dems think Al Gore won...well he should have. He won the Popular Vote and should have won the electoral vote if the Supreme Court did not unfairly rule for Bush. Edwards is my candidate, but Al Gore is closing the gap in my book. I put him in my top choices of Edwards, Warner, Bayh, and well Gore. Gore could win again if nominated and is a whole lot better than Hillary!

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | May 23, 2006 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Dodd as a candidate for potus is a joke. It will never happen.

Even if he was viewed positively on a national or even regional level, he has more "issues" than Bill Clinton's wildest fantasies.

Posted by: Nina Shea | May 23, 2006 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Dodd as a candidate for potus is a joke. It will never happen.

Even if he was viewed positively on a national or even regional level, he has more "issues" than Bill Clinton's wildest fantasies.

Posted by: fredmertz | May 23, 2006 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Peter, I think you meant "Mark W.," not "John W." John Warner is the senior Republican senator from Virginia.

Right at this moment, I guess Dodd can take heart in the fact that, hey, he's ahead of Mike Gravel!

Posted by: The Caped Composer | May 23, 2006 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey Peter,

Those Red States are not looking so Red anymore.

Posted by: maria | May 23, 2006 7:32 PM | Report abuse

CC draws the "contrast" well as to who has a head start on fundraising, but I think a Dodd candidacy goes way beyond that. This is a man with considerable experience who can contribute a lot to the national debate in this country at a time when fresh ideas and new leadership is key. He may not win, he may not be the BEST candidate, but I say, Go Chris.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | May 23, 2006 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Again, all Democrats need to win is all the Blue States and one medium to large Red State. Which Red State will Dodd win? Connecticut is true Blue. Only Evan Evan B. of Indiana nd John W. of VA. have a track record of getting a Red State to vote for them. Northeasterners just won't do it, sorry.

Posted by: Peter L. | May 23, 2006 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Dodd will be one of the first candidates to drop out. He has not been doing the organizing he needs to and probably won't be able to resonate with any section of the party. Of course, it's a no lose situation for him. At worst, he has to go back to his job as a senator, but there's always the outside chance he could win. He probably wants to take a crack at the presidency before he retires, a la Gephardt. But right now, the main contenders are Clinton, Edwards, Bayh, and Warner. Edwards and Feingold will duke it out to be the liberal candidate, while Bayh and Warner will fight with Clinton and each other to be the moderate alternative. Unfortunately for Bayh and Warner, Hillary has probably got the middle of the party wrapped up, so there won't be much room for them to thrive.

Posted by: Q | May 23, 2006 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on, if the nation was founded for economic reasons, NYC would have been filled with slaves.

Oh, wait, it was. Never mind.

I'm not sure what I think about Dodd - I'd rather vote for Gore/Barak.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | May 23, 2006 6:39 PM | Report abuse

If anything, this is one more sign that the Democrats REALLY don't want Hillary bearing their standard in 2008. Dodd doesn't have much chance (he's a small candidate without any weapons to make him a big candidate); I suspect that several of the people we consider candidates now, however, won't actually make it to the first real campaign "events."

Posted by: Staley | May 23, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Ahh here comes the dilution of the pool! This is why we can't have nice things... too many also-rans, never-was's, and wanna-be's. I thought 04 was bad with 3 contenders and like half a dozen idiots wasting everyones time, 08 will likely be worse.

Also lol @ 'CHRIS PAC'

Posted by: Bruce Wayne | May 23, 2006 6:01 PM | Report abuse

This could be good news for Lamont should he fall short in his primary challenge against Lieberman. Lamont's profile in the state will be enhanced and he might have an opening to go for Dodd's seat in 2008. I'm hoping he'll defeat Lieberman of course.

http://www.intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | May 23, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Is there a single Democratic Senator from New England that dosen't have the presidential itch? I think we are going to set a record for the number of contenders in the prez primaries in '08.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 23, 2006 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The nation was founded for economic reasons. Not to argue that large sums of money are great in politics.

New pony in the ring...exciting.

Posted by: JE | May 23, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Not that it disqualifies him, but Dodd isn't known at all outside Connecticut and the political class, is he?

Posted by: Mike 234 | May 23, 2006 5:06 PM | Report abuse

ANYONE BUT HILLARY CAN GET MY VOTE AT THIS POINT - fundraising only counts to the media, and unfortunately that means we are "fed" candidates on that basis.

Go Mr. Dodd!

Posted by: Long Beach, CA | May 23, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I love how a discussion of a politicians bid begins with a full discussion of his financial health. I am sure that is what our founding fathers had in mind when they established the nation.

Posted by: Dan W | May 23, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

As a past constituent of Dodd's I like him and I hope he does well. I wish he had run a few years ago rather than defer to Joementum boy.

Posted by: C. | May 23, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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