What Dodd's Retirement Means for Democrats

The senator faced dismal reelection prospects. Were his problems national or local in scope?

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), a 30-year incumbent facing dismal reelection prospects and a 40 percent job approval rating, will not seek another term. His retirement comes as two other prominent Democrats, Sen. Bryon Dorgan (D-ND) and Colorado Gov. Bill Ritters, are also stepping down. While many say Dodd's surprise retirement indicates how vulnerable Democrats are nationwide, others say the senator's problems were homegrown:

  • This Was Unexpected, writes Andrew Malcom at the Los Angeles Times: Dodd's departure, like Dorgan's, is something of a surprise... Dodd had given every indication that he'd stay on the bridge and seek a sixth term...Dodd even had the newly-turned-67-year-old Joe Biden up to Connecticut to help raise money for the now-about-to-be-defunct campaign."
  • A Horrible Outlook for Dems Now, write Manu Raju and Josh Kraushaar at Politico: "Democrats are now facing their bleakest election outlook in years—and the very real possibility the party will lose its 60-40 Senate supermajority after the November elections. On the House side, the prospect of heavy 20-30 seat losses is already looking increasingly likely."
  • A Better Outlook for Dems Now, counters conservative Mary Katharine Ham at The Weekly Standard: "[This Makes] Connecticut's seat a somewhat harder pick-up for Republicans as Democrats will find a candidate who's less scandal-ridden. Too bad."
  • It's Not About Dems, It's About Dodd, insists David Chalian at ABC News: "After moving his family to Iowa during his ill-fated presidential run and becoming embroiled in the 'Friends of Angelo' Countrywide home mortgage controversy, Chris Dodd's political problems seem to be specific to Chris Dodd and less about the overall tough environment Democrats are facing this year."
  • Dodd Probably Cut a Deal with the White House, writes Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic: "Privately, senior White House officials have communicated to Dodd their belief that his position was untenable. A sinecure or administration position is likely."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.