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Dodd: GOP "Will Have Battle on Their Hands"
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Senator Chris Dodd says recent poll numbers don't worry him.  The results showed Dodd in a statistical dead-heat with Republican, Rob Simmons. All this attention on Dodd's seat signals the campaign for 2010 has already begun.

Last week, a Quinnipiac University poll found Dodd vulnerable if the 2010 elections were held today.  Only 42 percent of registered voters would pick Dodd.  43 percent liked Simmons. Simmons, a former Congressman, says the poll has encouraged him to decide soon whether he'll challenge the senior Senator.

"These poll numbers are not a result of anything that any political party has done to him. He's really done it to himself. My poll numbers, even though I don't have anywhere near the name identification, my poll numbers are through the roof on Republicans and a substantial majority of independents and that's where the victory lies in Connecticut."

Previous polls show Dodd's approval rating began to suffer after he moved to Iowa during his bid for the Democratic nomination for President. Then last summer, reports that he was part a VIP member of his mortgage company, Countrywide, raised questions about the terms of two loans he received.

Dodd says he's tried to settle the allegations with full disclosures. And he's not surprised the Republican National Committee is eyeing his seat.

"when you're around long enough obviously people want to take shots at you and manufacture great innuendo and all sorts of things. Look it, Rush Limbaugh said it the other day, mentioning specifically, we're going to revive the art of personal destruction. I accept that. I guess that's going to be the game for what they try to do. But they're going to have a battle on their hands."

Dodd says the recurrent attention on his past mortgage deals is a sign his seat has become part of what he calls "a permanent campaign season." Dodd maintains he can turn around the polls by just doing his job--including highlighting legislation he's working on such as a bill that cracks down on predatory credit card practices. 

*****UPDATE: On Sunday, Simmons told the Associated Press he will run against Senator Dodd