Good news from Wisconsin and Indiana

Hillary Clinton’s woes and Donald Trump’s revival figure to be good news for “down ballot” Republican candidates. I don’t think the House was ever going to flip, but not long ago the Senate seemed very likely to. Now, perhaps, the GOP will maintain control.

I want to focus on two races — one that we have covered extensively and one I’m not sure we have discussed at all.

In Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson ( a Power Line pick) has pulled nearly even with Russ Feingold. The most recent poll I’ve seen, by Marquette Law School has Feingold ahead by a statistically insignificant margin of one point (Trump trails Clinton by 7 points). The only other recent poll I know of, by Emerson, had Feingold up by 4 points (Trump trailed by 6). However, Marquette is rated the best pollster in the state by FiveThirtyEight.”

Johnson’s surge has been remarkable. A month or so ago, he was trailing by around 10 points in some surveys, including Emerson’s. Now, a gap may no longer exist.

We’d like to thank our readers for contributing to Sen. Johnson’s campaign, and remind them that they can do so (or do so again) here.

The other race that has turned dramatically is in Indiana. Democrats thought they had pulled a coup when former Senator Evan Bayh entered the race to succeed Sen. Dan Coats. And that’s how it looked until recently.

In mid-August, Bayh led comfortably and continued to well into October. For example, a Monmouth poll taken October 11-13 showed Bayh up by six points.

But now a new Monmouth poll shows Bayh tied with Rep. Todd Young. The only other fairly recent poll puts Bayh ahead by 2 points, just inside the margin of error.

Bayh’s decline seems to stem from a series of stories showing his extensive lobbying efforts and lack of ties to the state he once represented.

Bayh owns two multi-million dollar homes in Washington and repeatedly listed them as his main places of residence. He also owns a condo in Indianapolis, but apparently almost never uses it. Indeed, according to CNN, even when Bayh returned to Indianapolis last summer for an Indiana Democratic Party dinner, he stayed at a JW Marriott, 12 miles away from his condo. A source with Indianapolis Power and Light said Bayh’s monthly electric bills averaged less than $20 per month since 2012.

Bayh is also harmed by the fact that Indiana is that rare state where Donald Trump is punching above his weight. With Mike Pence on the ticket, Trump leads by almost ten points in a state that Barack Obama carried in 2008.

Trump’s lead was down to about 5 points not long ago. Young’s surge corresponds with Trump’s.

Bayh is beginning to remind me of Mark Udall — a politician with a long record of success from a big political family whose campaign suddenly implodes. But Bayh is still even or slightly ahead. To help take him down, you can contribute to Todd Young’s campaign here. I just did.

If Ron Johnson and Todd Young both prevail, the GOP will have an excellent chance at holding the Senate.

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