The Pundits Chime in on Evah Bayh

Monday, Indiana Democrat Senator Evan Bayh dropped a bombshell on the political world and announced he would not run for re-election this fall - just one day before the deadline to file in that state.

Given that Bayh was a two term incumbent and had about thriteen million dollars in his campaign account, he was the strongest bet the Democrats had to hold the seat this fall.  In fact, in spite of his advantages, the seat was rated as only "slightly" leaning in the Democrats direction, (due in part to the fact that Indiana is generally more of a Republican state).  That's changed now.  Within hours of Bayh's announcement, pundits have switched the contest to "slightly Republican" odds.

Also, from a pro-life standpoint, it increases the odds of another pick-up in the Senate, given that Bayh was pro-abortion, (and both of the leading GOP contenders are solidly pro-life).

Here's a roundup from the pundit class...

Susan Ferrechio: With Bayh's retirement, there are now eight Senate seats currently held by Democrats that Republicans may grab this fall. Seats in Nevada, Colorado, North Dakota, Illinois, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Delaware were already looking vulnerable. Bayh's decision follows the retirements of Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.

Charlie Cook: "For months, the conversation has been about whether the Democratic majority in the House was in danger," Cook said. "Now you can
legitimately talk about whether their Senate majority is at some risk."

Ed Morissey: "The only hope Democrats had in holding the Indiana seat was in keeping
Bayh in the race," Morrissey added. "It usually skews conservative,
and most certainly would have done so in the midterms, even with Bayh
remaining in the race."

Michael Barone: Where does this leave Democrats in the 2010 Senate contests? Not in very good shape. The North Dakota seat held by Democrat Byron Dorgan
seems sure to go to Republican John Hoeven. The Delaware seat held by
Ted Kaufman (appointed to replace Joe Biden) seems very, very likely to
go to Republican Mike Castle. The Indiana seat held by Bayh seems now
very likely to go to a Republican. The filing deadline is next Friday,
February 19. Democrats do not seem to have a candidate lined up to
replace Bayh.

John Gizzi: As to why Bayh said “bye-bye,” the speculation is starting.  Many say
that he never got over not being picked as Barack Obama’s running mate
in ’08.  Other Bay watchers insist that the resounding criticism he
received for voting for the Senate health care package that passed in
December had an effect on him.  When subsequent polls showed him in
unusually close contests with Hostettler and other potential GOP
candidates, the senator was not happy.  Clearly, he did not want to go
out the way his father did in 1980, when he lost a fourth term bid to
Republican Dan Quayle.

Much like the exit of Sen. Kent Conrad
(D-N.D.) earlier this year, the immediate result of Bayh’s stunning
departure appears to be what the Obama White House wanted least when
they lobbied him to back the health care package:  a likely Republican
pickup of a Senate seat.







Filed under: 
Syndicate content