Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd pulled in early campaign donations from just five residents in his state, looking outside Connecticut for the bulk of the $600,000 he raised from individuals in the first three months of the year.
The fundraising, reported in the Connecticut Post, foretells a tough fight ahead for the power-wielding Democrat in the 2010 race.
Recent poll numbers have shown Dodd's approval ratings at historic lows, and he's facing potential GOP and Democratic challengers.
According to the Connecticut Post, the chairman of the Senate banking committee raised $4,250 from five state residents in the first three months of 2009. Close to 400 donors outside Connecticut made up the rest of the donations.
Dodd pulled in another $437,000 from political action committees and other similar groups, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
But the dearth of local contributors is unusual for a long-standing incumbent like Dodd. He recently took heat for including a provision in February's stimulus bill blamed for allowing executives at bailed-out American International Group to net $165 million in bonuses. Dodd, though, said his hand was guided by the Obama administration -- and some AIG employees have agreed to give the money back.
Facing a potential uprising in his state, Dodd took a stand against the administration two weeks ago by siding with a local union against proposed cuts to F-22 jet production in the defense budget blueprint. The jet's engines are made in Connecticut, and Dodd pledged to argue the machinist union's case in the Senate.
But Rob Simmons, a Republican former congressman who says he'll challenge Dodd next year, used the Dodd fundraising report as a fundraising pitch of his own. He sent out a campaign e-mail Friday urging his supporters to help show Dodd what a "real grassroots campaign" looks like.
"I don't know if (the fundraising report) is a reflection on his vanishing support in our state or further evidence of just how out of touch Dodd is with the people of Connecticut," he wrote in the e-mail.