Dodd's retirement is unspinnably bad news for Republicans

by: Chris Bowers

Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 14:00

Here are the first two lines of the top headline story at The Hill:

Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) on Wednesday announced that he will not seek another term after facing a tough reelection bid.

Dodd's decision to retire is another blow to the increasingly fragile Democratic majority in the Senate.

Yeah, it's a real blow:

Blumenthal leads Rob Simmons 59-28, Linda McMahon 60-28, and Peter Schiff 63-23.(...)

Blumenthal's numbers in this survey are quite a stark contrast to Dodd's.... [Dodd] trailed Simmons for the 11th consecutive time in a publicly released poll, 44-40, and also found himself locked in a tie with McMahon at 43.

Democrats score a 32% boost in Connecticut Senate polling in one-day, and it is called "a blow" to their Senate election chances.

It's not like the PPP poll, or Blumenthal's entry into the campaign, were secrets.  The same article in The Hill noted that Blumenthal will run.  Further, PPP had tweeted about Blumenthal's dominant polling position 12 hours before The Hill published its article.  Yet further, anyone writing about Connecticut politics should have already known that Dodd was in serious, perhaps insurmountable re-election trouble, while Blumenthal is by far the most popular politician in the state.

This is just shoddy, pro-Republican reporting.  It adds a lot of credence to something Atrios wrote earlier today:

As I've said, the media still continue to take their cues from whatever the latest Republican talking point of the day is. Old habits die hard, or perhaps not at all.

Dodd's retirement is the best news Democrats have received in any Senate campaign in months.  Any other characterization runs afoul of all existing empirical evidence.

Update: Here is some more genius from MSNBC:

Of course, be wary when the first set of blind quotes you read from party strategists after a retirement is "[Fill in the blank's] decision may turn out to be a blessing." As we wrote above, that's probably true regarding Dodd.

And then, at the end of the same paragraph:

The fact is that retirements, party switches, etc. hurt a party -- period.

Yeah, retirements always hurt a party.  PERIOD!!!!!  Except that, at the start of this same paragraph, the author wrote that Dodd's retirement helped Dems.  Awesome.

Update 3--The Hill changes the article: The Hill has edited the article and no longer claims Dodd's retirement is bad for Democratic electoral chances.

Chris Bowers :: Dodd's retirement is unspinnably bad news for Republicans

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oops (4.00 / 3)
There goes the need for my post "Chris Dodd Needs to Retire." No worries, a few changes and I can post it in 2011 as "Diana Feinstein Needs to Retire."

oops (4.00 / 1)
there goes my need to write the "Its Dianne" comment. :)

[ Parent ]
this meme is changing as we type (0.00 / 0)
see the king of gop talking points.. Halperin, on Obama's January silver linings.

GOP Talking Points = Media Conventional Wisdom! (4.00 / 1)
Everything is always "good news for John McCain!" with those ass-hats.

But, nothing can change the reality. It sucks that Chris Dodd who was a pretty good Senator had no chance of re-election, but the fact is that he didn't.  

The Dems went from around an 80% chance of defeat in CT, with a 50% chance of defeat in SD, to around an 90% chance of victory in CT, and around an 80% chance in SD.

Dem. chances in SD will be lower still if John Hoeven runs, which he is likely to do now.

On the plus side, the Tea-baggers have upped their ante on running Charlie Crist out of the race for Senator in FL which is great news for Dems, since he was a shoo-in for election, while Rubio will face a stiff fight.

Ironically, this doesn't gain the tea-baggers much if anything even if Rubio wins, because EVERY Republican is forced to toe the line once elected. Thus, Crist's reputation for being a "moderate" wouldn't have lasted 6 months if he were elected. He'd be just as right-wing as the rest of them. So, this is really a lose-lose for Republicans in forcing him out.

[ Parent ]
Should read: (0.00 / 0)
"80% chance of defeat in SD. Chances of defeat will be higher if John Hoeven runs which he is now likely to do."

[ Parent ]
Should read: (0.00 / 0)
"80% chance of defeat in ND."

[ Parent ]
Progressive Punch (0.00 / 0)
So far this session (2009-2010), nearly half of all Republican Senators have yet to cast a single "progressive vote" when it matters (crucial vote score per Progressive Punch).  Ironically, at least three of the 19 are having to fight back opposition from the right for not being conservative enough (John McCain, Robert Bennett, Lindsey Graham).

The third most moderate Republican, George Voinovich, is retiring in 2010.  it's time to require real filibusters at the very least instead of the paper automatic ones that Republicans have used for the past few years courtesy of toothless Harry Reid.

[ Parent ]
Real filibusters would only hold up legislative progress even more! (0.00 / 0)
Those crappy undemocratic Senate rules have to be abolished, once and for all!

[ Parent ]
Does that really surprise anyone? (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
By your odds (4.00 / 2)
which I agree with, the chance of the Democrats losing both seats went from 40% to 8%.

Clearly the loss of Dodd is a huge loss for Democrats.  < snark.>

I have never understood why policital reporting is so bad.  Similar incompetence would never be permitted on the sports page.  

[ Parent ]
You must not be aware of (0.00 / 0)
There is tons of incompetence in the sports page.

[ Parent ]
which Sunday show (4.00 / 2)
Which Sunday show will President McCain appear on to discuss this good news for Republicans?

No, they'll go to President Gingrich on this one (0.00 / 0)
So he can explain why this proves it's 1994 again, and the Republicans need to outline their "contract with America" with new ideas like tax cuts and deregulation.

President McCain is brought on for war stories, because he was shot down once in plane, so he knows everything about Yemen.

[ Parent ]
I'm hoping there's another benefit (4.00 / 3)
in financial regulation reform.  This part remains to be seen, and Dodd's future plans should give us a sign as to whether he's going to use his lame duck status to get the toughest possible reform or not.  Obviously, I'm hoping for the former.

Media: retirements always hurt a party (0.00 / 0)
Why? Because the media will always report that they hurt the party.

Yeah they're trying that here in Colorado; but, (0.00 / 0)
Ritter's decision not to seek re-election will provide a huge boost to Dem chances of retaining this governorship--especially if Ken Salazar, as all indications suggest, runs.  Ritter was polling poorly, and Salazar is immensely popular in Colorado.  That odd sound you heard was the sound of thousands of Colorado Republicans collectively crapping their pants.


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