While Dodd, 64, has only recently found himself in the nation’s political hot seat because of his role in the AIG bonus debacle, it has become clear that his issues with voters back home have been festering for two years. The AIG controversy appears to have exacerbated his popularity problems. ”His numbers started to fall two years ago, and it had nothing to do with the economy,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. ”It’s been a cumulative effect that has brought him down.”
Dodd’s decision to move his family to Iowa to campaign for a doomed bid for president, his initial refusal to release documents of his two controversial mortgages with Countrywide, criticism of how he financed a vacation cottage in Ireland, and now his involvement as Senate Banking Committee chairman in the bill that ultimately protected bonuses for executives at insurance giant AIG have all taken their toll.