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Breaking: Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh to Retire

This certainly is a big surprise but Indiana Senator Evan Bayh has announced that he is going to retire. From Fox News:

Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh will not seek re-election this November, an unexpected decision that hands Republicans an opportunity for a pick-up in a year when Democrats are already defending several open Senate seats.

The two-term senator is known as a moderate Democrat. Former GOP Sen. Dan Coats had been planning to challenge Bayh in November -- but a senior Democratic source told Fox News that recent polling showed Bayh way ahead of Coats, and that the retirement must have been a personal decision.

Bayh's staff said the latest polling showed Bayh ahead of Coats by 20 points.

It's a cliche but the Democrats really are dropping like flies.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.

Update: The Indy Star has more:

In prepared remarks, Bayh, 54, cited excessive partisanship that makes progress on public policy difficult to achieve as the motivation for his decision.

"After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so in Congress has waned," he said.

"My decision was not motivated by political concern," he added. "Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for re-election."

Bayh had never lost an election, from his first win in 1986 as secretary of state, his wins for governor in 1988 and 1992 and his election to the U.S. Senate in 1998 and 2004.

"But running for the sake of winning an election, just to remain in public office, is not good enough," Bayh said. "And it has never been what motivates me. At this time I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor."

Update II: Senator's Bayh's timing does not bode well for Democrats. He made his announcement today but, as Karen Tumulty notes, the deadline for filing to run in November is Friday, which leaves Democrats very little time to find a replacement candidate.

Update III: Jim Geraghty at the Campaign Spot notes that there are two different dates for filing. Swing State Project has it listed as tomorrow, while the Indiana Secretary of State has it listed as Friday. Either way, Jim notes that the Democrats might be able to appoint a candidate if there is a vacancy on the ballot.

Update IV: It seems Mike Pence was reconsidering running against Evan Bayh in November but Bayh's announcement to retire cemented Pence's decision to stay in the House.

Update V: National Journal has the details on the Indiana filing process.


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Comments (21)

A "moderate" liberal rat ju... (Below threshold)
recoverd liberal democrat:

A "moderate" liberal rat jumping ship. He didn't want to be embarrassed in his bid for re-election. The country is learning you can't trust moderate Dems or Republicans to run anything.

The Dems. may be thinking i... (Below threshold)
storyteller:

The Dems. may be thinking it would be easier to hold the seat running a fresh candidate. I just wish we had a stronger candidate on the Republican side.

"After all these year... (Below threshold)
John S:

"After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so in Congress has waned..."

TRANSLATION:

Why work under that dumbass Reid for a lousy $172K a year when I can control him as a $5 million a year lobbyist?


Bayh, 54, cited excessiv... (Below threshold)

Bayh, 54, cited excessive partisanship that makes progress on public policy difficult to achieve

So it was all bearable until recently when the partisanship went through the roof, eh...just sort of when the Dems took over everything in DC, eh? Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

Senator's Bayh's t... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
Senator's Bayh's timing does not bode well for Democrats. He made his announcement today but, as Karen Tumulty notes, the deadline for filing to run in November is Friday, which leaves Democrats very little time to find a replacement candidate.

Normally Democrats view those deadlines as kind of flexible, at least as applied to Democrats. But, I don't think the normal MO will be as effective in a state as red as Indiana.

Your turn to ride off into ... (Below threshold)
914:

Your turn to ride off into the sunset dirty Harry.

Scott Brown-the gift that k... (Below threshold)
Stan:

Scott Brown-the gift that keeps on giving. Who knew when he was elected that things would turn out this way. The Dem domino effect is in full swing. No telling who will be next Democrat domino will fall. Hopefully that will be Chuckie Cheese Schumer.

Won't cave in to us = "exce... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Won't cave in to us = "excessive partisanship"

Over at Hot Air, Ed Morriss... (Below threshold)

Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey notes the following:

---------------

National Journal has updated their story -- the filing deadline is actually tomorrow:

> The filing deadline is tomorrow, not Friday, as we wrote earlier. Dem sources
> say Ellsworth is the candidate most likely to jump into the contest.

Steve from No Runny Eggs points out that Democrats can nominate someone through the caucus process if no one signs up to run in time. That's true in most caucus states. However, that process is almost certain to produce a liberal ideologue -- the exact opposite of what Indiana Democrats need for the midterms. They'd better hope they can get Ellsworth qualified in time.

"My decision was not motiva... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

"My decision was not motivated by political concern," he added, as he discreetly pushed aside the results of recent polls in Indiana.

You know, if I were truly m... (Below threshold)
Drago:

You know, if I were truly machiavellian, I would surmise the following from Evan Bayh's announcement:

---Now that he is not running for reelection, Bayh is freed up to openly support and vote for all the piece of crap legislation the dems are trying to push thru. This includes the health care takeover bill as well as card check and any other tax raising bills (climate change included).

Major caveat: My assumption is that Bayh is not going to challenge Obama in the primaries for 2012. If he is, then it's unlikely that he would support any of the above. If running for the Presidency in 2012, he would vote against all of the above and could position himself as the moderate (JFK-like) option to Obama and his Chicago cronies.

Still, it's hard to see that happening (and even harder seeing him win in the primaries (unless obama "LBJ's" himself after destroying the economy) and the Dem base decides it's had enough of the ideologues.

Since when do democrats car... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Since when do democrats care about filing deadlines?

Retired Military, I thought... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Retired Military, I thought the same thing. Rules are for others to follow in the left's mind.

Indiana is one of those states that as a whole tend to be moderate to right. When your whole state is like that, partisanship is hard to manage let alone communicate to your constituancy. ww

It's amazing how "time with... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

It's amazing how "time with the family" becomes so important when polls indicate a pending political defeat.

Where is the inane little s... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Where is the inane little stevie green with his usual inane comment.
Another one down little stevie...boo-hoo for you.

Michael, Steve is attemptin... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Michael, Steve is attempting to recover from the tremendous body blows offered up by even more revelatory comments from the "scientists" (particularly Phil Jones at CRU) at the heart of the man-made global warming hoax.

My guess is that li'l Stevie G will "reinvent" himself as another persona for this blog. Or perhaps change blog-troll assignments with one of the other Soros-funded automatons.

BTW, Ace of Spades is providing some "inside dope" on the potential retirement of Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

Not that I believe a R would win there. But to have to spend real money defending what would have been a shoo-in reelection? Well, the hits keep coming, don't they?

I fully expect BryanD to show up with some really insightful comment since it's been about an hour since his last drug-induced latent-homosexual inclination-based diatribe against the jooooooos.

I love helping our citiz... (Below threshold)

I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress

Evan Bayh joins 70% of the nation.

Being a lifelong Indiana re... (Below threshold)
Harmon:

Being a lifelong Indiana resident I have had a close up view of Bayh's entire political career. While he is probably the most conservative Democrat in the Senate (and actually has a career voting record to the right of many Republicans), I have never cast a single vote for him in any election. My main reason for doing so is simple. At the age of 54, the man has never had a real private sector job in his life. He basically grew up in DC (his father was a senator too). Went straight from college to a DC lobbying firm, and from there to elective office. He seems to be a nice enough fellow and a good family man, but I have a congenital aversion to professional politicians. Of ANY stripe or party. And if he decides to run against Obama in 2012 and happens to unseat him, I still will not give him my vote for the same reason.

"After all these years, my ... (Below threshold)
jbinnout:

"After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so in Congress has waned..."

TRANSLATION:

Why work under that dumbass Reid for a lousy $172K a year when I can control him as a $5 million a year lobbyist?

I have to agree with John S on this earlier post. The first thing I thought was he would become a lobbyist, after the stellar year with Obama.

I'm waiting for the other s... (Below threshold)
G.:

I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. There may be more to this than we think.

More bad news for the demac... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

More bad news for the demacrats i hope it gets worse




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