In his weekly conference call with Connecticut reporters, U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd reacted to last week’s poll numbers and talked about how the health care debate is shaping up in the Senate.
“Of course I’d like to see better numbers,” Dodd said of the poll numbers which show three of his Republican opponents beating him in the 2010 election.
“I accept it for what it is. I know there’s a lot of reasons for it,” Dodd admitted. “Some of which are of my own making, which I’ve acknowledged and I’ve got to work at that.”
“I want people of Connecticut to know that I have great respect for them,” Dodd said. “I love representing them. I’m working hard on the issues I hope they care about.”
“The message is just keep doing your best,” Dodd said.
Events happen every single day that can change people’s opinions and their choices, Dodd said avoiding a hypothetical question about whether he would step aside for the good of the party if it looked like he couldn’t win reelection.
“A year ago who would have predicted what things look like politically today,” Dodd said.
How much does Dodd’s reelection depend on the state of the economy?
He said he believes it will and it has historically. But the difference between 2010 and 1992 is “expectations about where the economy is going may have a greater influence.”
He said it’s been bad now for long time and people are beginning to see that housing, even employment numbers, are not as bad as they once were.
“They’re seeing things getting better and if things are getting better that actually might help,” Dodd said.
Congressional Budget Office is expected to release its cost analysis of the Senate health care bill either today or tomorrow, Dodd said.
He said he’s been getting ready to co-manage that legislation on the floor of the Senate as soon as the CBO score is released.
“There’s no ticker-tape parades or applause lines in this bill,” Dodd said. “The economic implications here for our state and our country are so huge that any notion of accepting the status quo or doing nothing ought to be abhorrent to people.”
But the cost of doing something is what has U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman concerned. Lieberman has even said he would support a Republican filibuster to prevent the health care bill from coming up for a vote.
“I have a lot of confidence in Joe,” Dodd said Tuesday. “I’m confident that in the end of all of this he’s going to be supportive and allow us get to the floor of the Senate to debate these issues.”
In the end Dodd believes there will be a lot more lawmakers in support of the final product than anyone is currently able to predict.