Unlike many Democrats, Congressman John Larson is sticking by his guns, not running from an unpopular White House. During a taping of Face the State, Larson unabashedly supported President Obama, calling him an “exceptional President.” He also said he would vote for the stimulus and health care if he had to do it all over again. As you might expect from a member of the Democratic leadership, there was some blame heaped on the Bush adminstration for the current situation the nation finds itself in.
Larson’s 1st District is about as Democrat leaning as you will find in this state. The last Republican to win here was back in the 1950s. Yet, President Obama’s approval rating in the 1st is hovering around 50% and that is the reason Larson finds himself in a tighter race than anyone could have imagined.
The CT Capitol Report poll found the 6 term Democrat with only a 7 point lead over Republican challenger Ann Brickley. Brickley is a political newcomer who garnered nearly 45% of the support in the poll, somewhat amazing when you consider she hasn’t even aired a TV commercial and he has been a mainstay in the Connecticut political scene for more than two decades.
Larson disputed the findings of the poll, telling me his internal polling shows his lead to be much larger. How much larger I asked? Larson wouldn’t say.
Larson also disputed reports that the economy is getting worse, ticking off a list of signs he sees that the economy is getting better, including signs from Pratt and Whitney.
We didn’t cover as much ground as I would have liked, since Larson’s style is to give long answers. As we were wrapping things up, I asked a couple of quick questions including what he thinks should be named after Senator Chris Dodd when the senator leaves office.
“A college or university,” Larson replied.
You can watch the complete interview with Congressman Larson this Sunday at 11AM on Face the State. Also, because the senate debate between Dick Blumenthal and Linda McMahon was the big story of the week, we dusted off some old clips of previous debates for the seat held by Chris Dodd. We have old tape from 1986 when Dodd clashed with Roger Eddy, and from 1992, when Dodd sparred with Brook Johnson.