February 4th, 2010
09:34 AM ET
5 years ago

Indiana Senate race gets more competitive

Two well respected non-partisan political analysts have changed their ratings of this year's Senate race in Indiana following Coats decision.
Two well respected non-partisan political analysts have changed their ratings of this year's Senate race in Indiana following Coats decision.

Washington (CNN) – Two well respected non-partisan political analysts have changed their ratings of this year's Senate race in Indiana, now that former Republican Sen. Dan Coats is taking the first steps towards challenging the incumbent, Democrat Evan Bayh.

Coats, who held the seat from 1989 to 1999, opened an exploratory committee Wednesday . Following that announcement The Cook Political Report moved it's characterization of the race from solid Democrat to lean Democrat. A solid rating means the contest is not considered competitive and not likely to become closely contested. A lean rating means the race is considered competitive but one party has an advantage.

The Rothenberg Political report also moved its ranking of the contest from currently safe to narrow advantage for the incumbent.

"Former Sen. Dan Coats' likely entry into the Indiana Senate race puts another seat into play for Republicans. Coats last served in the Senate a decade ago and Democrats are already attacking him for living in Virginia since then, but the Republican should be a credible alternative for voters who are dissatisfied with the direction of the country and the party in power," writes Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report.

Political analysts point out that Coats will need to quickly build a campaign structure to compete with Bayh, who had $13 million in the bank at the beginning of the year.

Rep. Coats was appointed senator in 1989, to replace Dan Quayle, who stepped down after his election as vice president. Coats won a special election in 1990 and election to a full term in 1992. He did not seek re-election in 1998. Bayh, Indiana's governor from 1987 to 1997, won the election to the senate in 1998 and grabbed 62 percent of the vote in his 2004 re-election.

The other Republicans, former Rep. John Hostettler and State Senator Marlin Stutzman, are also seeking the GOP Senate nomination.

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Filed under: Dan Coats
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. katiec

    Republicans, we, the American people, are getting so sick of your attacking anything and everything, your negativity, your obstruction, your hypocrasy, irresponsible behavior.
    With your actions you are well on your way to becoming our countries most dangerous domestic terrorists.

    February 4, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  2. Right Leaning Independent

    Scratch one more Dem from the Senate!!! Time for the big spending Liberals to go home!!!

    February 4, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. stevegee

    Coats will ride the conservative movement's coattails to a big victory ... Bye-Bye, Evan Bayh.

    February 4, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Anonymous

    "the Republican should be a credible alternative for voters who are dissatisfied with the direction of the country and the party in power"

    WOW!!! Party in power inherited 2 wars and a huge deficit. Americans either have amnesia or just plain morons.

    So quickly they want to switch back to the party who got them into this mess to begin with. If it wasn't for the stimulus, the country would be in depression right now.

    This is how you thank Obama? "We're good, thanks, now f – off?"

    February 4, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. joe m

    dems attacking this possible candidate for being a carpet bagger is ridiculous considering that enough of them have done the smae thing; lest we forget now sec. clinton. i suppose this just shows how worried democrats are about possibly loosing more seats, or even possibly their control of the senate. if democrats want to protect their positions and control then they need to start listening to the majority of american votes who are becoming more and more dissatisfied with their running of the senate and house. politicians are certainly expected to listen to the special interest groups, but they need to give more time to the largest group of all, regular american voters.

    February 4, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Anonymous

    "the Republican should be a credible alternative for voters who are dissatisfied with the direction of the country and the party in power"

    WOW!!! Party in power inherited 2 wars and a huge deficit. Americans either have amnesia or just plain morons. And it has only been a year!!

    So quickly they want to switch back to the party who got them into this mess to begin with. If it wasn't for the stimulus, the country would be in depression right now.

    This is how you thank Obama? "We're good, thanks, now f – off?"

    February 4, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. CitizenJP

    Isn't the choice for Indiana straight forward? Most of Indiana is middle class and the democratic policies are the only ones that support the middle class, not the exploiting rich, unless of course Indiana middle class clings to guns and religion.

    February 4, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. c spurgeon

    I am rooting for anyone except Bayhr. He needs to go find a job since he doesn't want to do the one he was elected to do. What a wimp!What we really need are term limits...

    February 4, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. c spurgeon

    Looks like another old white haired politician but then all he needs to know is just say NO. Term Limits are the answer then we don't have to put up with any of the losers for longer than six years.

    February 4, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. diridi

    Indiana, go for democrats....you know, republicans do not have any vision for the nation....it already became as third world nation....ok...we need to pass the health care reform....I saw on CNN, one lady wants to marry for health insurance....America, this is where we are....seven presidents failed...sad, sad, sad....scott brown win does not mean darn thing to me....pass with 51 votes...majority...god bless....

    February 4, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Carl Justus

    None of them will beat Evan Byah. Byah is the best senator Indiana has ever had and I do believe the good people of Indiana will vote out their best senator ever.

    February 4, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. Greg in Cabot, AR

    Is this the best Indiana can do?

    Bring back this carpet-bagger, pretend he is a tea-bagger even though he has been a "political consultant"?

    Vote this clown in and you will prove that "people get the kind of government they deserve". More tax cuts for the wealthy, more jobs outsourced to foreign countries.....look up his record when he was a Congressman and kiss your jobs goodby.

    February 4, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |