Yesterday, former Rep. Rob Simmons (R) officially announced his candidacy for the Senate seat currently held by Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, up for re-election in 2010. (John Isaacs first posted on the race two weeks ago.)
Simmons will pose a serious threat to Dodd, according to a Quinnipiac poll released last week, that shows the two candidates in a dead heat. In the poll, voters chose Simmons over Dodd, 43% to 42%.
Good for Dodd, however, were the numbers that indicated 53% of voters were not familiar enough with Simmons to form an opinion. This is a significant disadvantage for the challenger when set against Dodd, a five term incumbent who the Hartford Courant identifies has become “a household name.”
In other big Senate election news, New Hampshire’s U.S. Rep. Carol Shea Porter (D) has announced she will not challenge U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes (D) for the Democratic nomination to replaced Sen. Judd Gregg (R), who is not running for reelection. Hodes is now the clear front runner for the seat, particularly because Republicans have not yet found a candidate to run.