CNN is reporting that former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh will be announcing his candidacy for the seat he once held.
Democratic leaders have been working hard to get Bayh to run once again. When the incumbent Senator, Republican Dan Coats, announced last year that he would not seek reelection, the position was wide open. Democrats hoped to find a strong candidate to move the seat into the Democratic column.
CNN found out just this evening that Bayh will be announcing his candidacy in the next day or so. The announcement had been planned for today but had to be delayed because of logistical problems, according to an anonymous source.
Former Indiana senator Evan Bayh is expected to run for his old seat https://t.co/1G6aUy8xkH
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) July 12, 2016
While prominent Democrats like Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have been pushing Bayh for months, he has been reluctant to even consider the idea. Bayh served as Indiana Governor for eight years and as Senator for 12. He had claimed to be finished with public life and dismissed those who tried to coax him out of retirement.
Bayh’s decision to run for the Senate again is a major coup for Democratic recruiters. That’s because the Republican primary winner, Todd Young, was considered a near shoo-in over the Democrat’s weak candidate. That candidate, Baron Hill, agreed to bow out now that the former Senator has agreed to join the race.
So now it looks more likely that at least one red state may go blue in November. Polling has shown Bayh with a double digit lead over the Republican Young even before he announced that he’d be running. He also comes with a $10 million war chest and excellent name recognition.
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mi) says:
“He’s extremely popular, won his elections by a big margin, has support from Democrats and Republicans. He’s in a very good position to (win) that seat. I think we have an excellent chance.”
If the Democrats win the presidency, they will need to turn four states from red to blue to gain the majority in the Senate. Bayh’s decision has definitely increased their chances of doing just that.
Featured image via YouTube screengrab.