Kudlow Considering Dodd's Vulnerability

Chris Dodd has long reined supreme as the state's senior senator, but many consider the politician vulnerable as we near the 2010 election and the race is actually getting interesting.

CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, the host of “The Kudlow Report,” an economist from Fairfield, is the latest possible challenger to Dodd, Politico reported earlier this week.

Kudlow is a tough-talking supply-side economist who is likely to heat up the debates and get more than five people to tune in. 

"I'm thinking about it, that's all I can say … it's the kind of thing where I'm talking to friends, talking to strategists, talking to my wife, and praying on it," Kudlow told Politico, several news sources have reported. "It's all come on very fast, and I don't have any definite thoughts at all other than the fact that I am thinking about it."  

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told the Connecticut Post Wednesday that he has met with both Kudlow and also with former Rep. Rob Simmons to discuss a possible challenge.

Dodd, long a poster boy for popular pols, has not been the most well-liked guy since a mortgage controversy started to brew over a deal he got from Countrywide Financial.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, more people disapprove of Dodd than approve of him for the first time since the school started polling. 

"Sen. Dodd is vulnerable. His approval has sunk to a new low," poll director Douglas Schwartz said when the poll was released. "The mortgage controversy has taken a toll on his approval rating.  Most voters are not satisfied with Dodd's explanation and say they are less likely to vote for him next year because of it."

Other possible Dodd challengers are State Sen. Sam S.F. Caligiuri, R-16th District and Peter Schiff, a financial pundit who has also been a television commentator, who was born in New Haven.

California libertarians seem to love this guy and are leading a grassroots campaign for Shiff to run. He has not said he will throw his name in.

As the high-profile challengers line up, Dodd’s camp says he’s ready to run.

"When the time comes, Sen. Dodd will be ready with a vigorous, well-funded re-election campaign," Dodd's spokesman Bryan DeAngelis said in an e-mail to USA Today.  "Now is the time for leadership and that is why Sen. Dodd is focused on helping Connecticut families get out of this economic crisis and hardship." 

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