Can one word – Bayh – win Democrats control of the Senate?
Republicans have lots of material, but not a lot of time, to sully a family political brand that goes back six decades in Indiana politics. By SEUNG MIN KIM
INDIANAPOLIS — He’s an opposition researcher’s holy grail: a former senator who cashed in after leaving office by working for a Washington lobbying firm and serving on corporate boards, while buying expensive out-of-state homes and rarely showing up in the state where he now wants to serve again.
By the normal laws of politics, Evan Bayh shouldn’t have a prayer in the Indiana Senate race this fall. And six weeks after he jumped into a race Republicans assumed they had all but won, the former Democratic senator and governor is under growing scrutiny over how much time he spends in Indiana and whether he has profited off his Senate career. Not to mention that he’s a moderate Democrat in a red state that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is expected to win, perhaps by double digits.
Yet none of that will likely matter come Election Day.
The Bayh brand still goes a long way in Indiana, and he’s betting that his family’s six-decade bond with voters is too durable for Republicans to tear down in a few months. Bayh’s surprise decision to run again for the Indiana Senate seat he held for a dozen years not only upended the once-assured GOP victory here, but also vaulted the state high on the list of likely Democratic wins this November and bolstered the chances that Senate Democrats will regain the majority they lost two years ago.
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