The financial crisis has exacted a political toll on Sen. Chris Dodd few would have seen coming. The veteran senator, elected in 1980, now trails his challenger by 1%, reports the Hill. Resentment of VIP mortgages he received was already hurting him. Dodd’s fumbled explanations of his role in exempting AIG-style bonuses from regulation have done little to improve his position, despite the Obama administration's attempt to take responsibility.
Being the top beneficiary of AIG campaign donations doesn't help. “What’s simplified in the minds of voters is that here’s a guy who got campaign money, and he’s behind or involved in the amendment that has led to bonuses,” says a political scientist. While Democratic officials promise support to Dodd in 2010, Republicans—and perhaps a few Democratic—officeholders are looking at his seat hungrily.