Perceptions that Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd is too close to the banking industry and put his personal ambitions ahead of dealing with the financial crisis have put him at risk of losing his seat and under pressures that will affect how he steers his panel's agenda.

In interviews with advisers, Capitol Hill aides, political analysts and financial industry representatives, it is clear the Connecticut Democrat's embattled status has ramped up the scrutiny he faces and left him little room for error. They said that to stay in office, he will need to distance himself from the industry, tack to the left, spend more time in Connecticut, prove he can implement President Obama's agenda and focus on consumer issues.

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