It’s no secret that President Barack Obama is coming to Connecticut Friday to help raise money for U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd’s re-election campaign.
The state’s senior senator and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee has been struggling with low poll numbers and faces a potential Democratic primary. There are also five Republicans and one Independent candidate who have announced plans to challenge Dodd.
Friday’s event has prompted both Dodd’s challengers, supporters, and “Dump Dodd” enthusiasts to turn out for the event.
A group that identifies themselves as “Dump Dodd” will be holding a large Tea Party near the entrance of the Stamford Hilton. According to the group’s web site, they are a “grass roots group of independent Connecticut residents intent on removing Chris Dodd from the U.S. Sen. In 2010.”
Organizing for America, the successor organization to Obama for America, will also be outside the event to support Obama’s visit.
A number of Dodd’s opponents in 2010 will also be outside the event. Including his Democratic challenger Merrick Alpert, who wrote to Obama and asked for a brief meeting. Alpert will be outside the hotel at 6 p.m. to hold a press conference.
Linda McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, will be airing a television ad that talks how few jobs the stimulus package created for the state.
Former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons sent out an emailed statement Thursday night claiming Dodd is the “antithesis of everything President Obama campaigned on and promised.”
Tom Foley, another of the Republican candidates, said in a statement Friday morning that he wants to know “why they are spending time at an exclusive fundraiser in Stamford when the people of Connecticut need them in Washington fixing the economy and reducing unemployment.”
The most recent Quinnipiac Poll from September showed 49 percent of voters disapprove of the job Dodd is doing while 43 percent approve. The poll was an improvement from an April poll, where 58 percent of voters disapproved of how Dodd was handling his job, while 33 percent approved.
The poll also showed Simmons beating Dodd 44 to 39 percent.
And while Obama remains popular in the state his approval ratings in the September Quinnipiac poll also dropped slightly.
Connecticut voters approve 57 to 36 percent of the job President Obama is doing, down from 63 to 32 percent July 23 and his lowest approval in the state since his inauguration.
Check back later tonight for updates from the event and the protests in Stamford