A new Rasmussen poll has Indiana’s Demoratic Senator Evan Bayh trailing Republican Congressman Mike Pence by a 47-44 margin. It’s far from clear, however, that Pence will run for the seat; indeed, I’ve been told that Bayh’s camp believes he won’t. Pence stands to be a huge player in the House if the Republicans gain control of that body, so a risky run at becoming a freshman Senator may not be tremendously appealing to him.
The Rasmussen poll has Bayh ahead of former Congressman John Hostettler, who has announced that he will challenge Bayh. The margin is 44-41.
Rasmussen notes that “any incumbent who attracts less than 50% support at this point in a campaign is considered potentially vulnerable.” However, he also points out that Bayh has “already raised a large amount of cash for his campaign.”
For what it’s worth, my view in that money can’t save vulnerable incumbents when the tide is running strongly against their party. Bayh’s real advantage is that he’s an astute politician who to some extent has internalized the lessons of his father’s defeat in 1980 by Dan Quayle and wno, unlike many Democrats, understands that Scott Brown’s election last week represents a “wake-up call.”
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