Monday, February 15, 2010

Evan Bayh not running for re-election

This is fairly stunning news...
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) will not seek a 3rd term in the Senate next year, according to a Dem source, handing Dems yet another setback as they struggle to salvage their damaged ship.

Bayh, elected statewide 5 times, will become the 5th Senate Dem not to seek another term. His decision to step aside , first reported by The Fix and confirmed to Hotline OnCall, creates an open seat in IN, a usually-red state that broke the mold in '08 by voting narrowly for Pres. Obama.

Last week, ex-Sen. Dan Coats (R), who held Bayh's seat before retiring in '98, announced he would run for the seat. Ex-Rep. John Hostettler (R) had already announced his own candidacy.

A recent poll taken for the liberal DailyKos website showed Bayh easily beating both Coats and Hostettler. And Bayh ended the year with $13M in the bank, far ahead of any potential challengers.
That was a seat that the Republicans thought they could win with Mike Pence if everything went well, but Pence decided to keep his House seat. That left Bayh in seemingly excellent condition to retain it for the Democrats, with big polling and money advantages. It's not overstating it to say that this significantly increases the Republican's chances of actually getting to 50 Senate seats in November. There are a number of likely gains, but they needed a couple of unlikely gains to do it, and this is one of them.

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