When former Indiana senator Evan Bayh abruptly entered the race to capture his old seat, Democrats cheered and Republicans gulped. It had already become evident that control of the Senate after this election cycle will come down to the wire and any one seat could make the difference.
Outgoing Republican Senator Dan Coats is retiring after serving only one term and now the Democrat he replaced in 2011 is looking for his old seat back. Despite Indiana being reliably red – Romney winning the Hoosier State with over 55 percent of the vote in 2012 - Evan Bayh is cruising off high name-recognition against his GOP rival, Congressman Todd Young. The Real Clear Politics average has Bayh beating Young by seven points. Roll Call calculates the race as “Tilts Democrat.”
All may seem lost, but not if one conservative super PAC has its way.
Senate Leadership Fund executed a near four million ad buy against Evan Bayh. SLF has purchased $906,000 in ads for each week in September and one in October – having previously spent $1 million on the race thus far.
SLF had already helped Young in his GOP primary and now they are boosting their investment in the congressman as he battles an uphill climb to enter the Senate.
Given what is at stake this election cycle, this could be the race that decides if Mitch McConnell gets to stay on as Senate Majority Leader or if Chuck Schumer will be getting a promotion next year.