Although he has been in Congress since 1975 and represents a strongly Democratic state (it hasn't elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate since 1982), Dodd could face his toughest race ever when he seeks a sixth term in the Senate next year.
Dodd could be in trouble because of some ethical missteps-including getting a favorable rate on a mortgage from Countrywide Financial Corp. in part because of his friendship with then-CEO Angelo Mozilo-and the perception that he was too slow to use his chairmanship of a key committee to react when the economic collapse began.
In 2007 and early 2008, Dodd was frequently absent from Capitol Hill during his ill-fated run for the Democratic nomination for president. He moved his family to Iowa-the site of the first
delegate-selection contest-and enrolled his children in school there.
He also received negative attention for sponsoring a provision exempting previously negotiated bonuses from recently approved restrictions on executive pay for officials of companies receiving TARP money.
A poll released last month showed him with a 33% approval rating and also indicated that he trailed all three of the most frequently mentioned GOP candidates: state Sen. Sam Caligiuri, former ambassador Thomas Foley, and former U.S. Rep. Ron Simmons. But Dodd would go into the race able to raise a considerable amount of money because his committee regulates the financial services industry.
At the end of March, he had $1.5 million in his campaign coffers.
He has generally had a friendly relationship with credit unions and from 20003-2008 he received $35,500 from individuals and political action committees with ties to credit unions. During that time, Dodd raised $8.9 million overall.