Evan Bayh (D-IN)
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Former US Sen. Evan Bayh is running for the seat opened by Sen. Dan Coates’ (R-IN) retirement. Bayh was US Senator from 1999 until he decided not to seek reelection in 2010, citing gridlock and partisanship in Congress. He had previously served as Governor, and was known for passing large tax cuts. He most recently worked for a lobbying firm in Washington, DC, where he has advised many groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and in March of this year, before deciding to run for Senate, became co-chair of the No Labels group, which calls itself a “national movement of Democrats, Republicans and independent voters dedicated to a new politics of problem solving.”
- On the Issues: Coming from such a red state, Bayh arguably can only win as a moderate. When he left Congress, he was ranked the most conservative Democratic Senator in the 111th Congress, voting with the party 72% of the time, though he had voted with the party 84% in the 110th and 91% in the 109th. While he is not strong on climate issues, we believe he will be in the right place for key votes. He is vocal in his disdain for the current campaign finance system, and has the potential to be a champion on the issue. His voting history on budget and tax issues is not great, but we see an opportunity to push him here.
- Election update (9/27): Bayh entered the race late, in July of 2016, but brought with him a campaign war chest of nearly $10M from before his 2010 retirement. Shortly after he announced, a poll showed him winning by double digits. Although the race has tightened due to outside spending by GOP groups, Bayh is still expected to win, thanks to his high name recognition and approval rating.