February 16th, 2010
08:43 AM ET
8 years ago

Bayh: Not leaving Democrats in the lurch


Washington (CNN) - Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh says his decision to retire at the end of the year rather than run for re-election has not left his party in a bind.

"The party hasn't been left in the lurch. We have a real shot of winning this election and having a good senator follow me in the United States Senate. And I'm going to help that individual very vigorously," Bayh said Tuesday on CNN's American Morning.

The two-term senator's unexpected announcement Monday gives national Republicans one of their best opportunities to takeover a Democratic seat, according to independent analyses from two leading non-partisan political handicappers. The Cook Political Report revised its rating for the Indiana contest to "Leans Republican" shortly after news of Bayh's decision broke. The race had previously been rated "Leans Democratic." The Rothenberg Political Report modified its rating from a "narrow advantage" for Democrats to "toss-up," meaning the race could go either way.

But Bayh says he's confident the Democrats will be competive in the contest.

"I do think we have a strong chance of being successful this fall. We've got several congressmen who are considering this race, some other substantial figures who are considering this race. The republican party has a five-way primary, five way. I mean, they're going to be very divided before this is over. We have a chance to focus on the fall campaign. I think our candidate will start off with a monetary advantage. Indiana's a challenging state. But if we nominate the right person, i think we've got a real shot," Bayh told American Morning anchors John Roberts and Kiran Chetry.

Both Cook and Rothenberg had Bayh as a lock for re-election until the announcement earlier this month that former Republican Sen. Dan Coats, who once held Bayh's seat, was mulling a challenge. According to Cook and Rothenberg, a Bayh-Coats match-up would have been competitive, with a slight advantage for Bayh as the incumbent.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: Evan Bayh
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. dora

    As much as I am not a fan of Senator Bayh, at least he didn't quit in the middle of his first term ( I have a note on my hand that tells me so).

    February 16, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  2. Steve, New York City

    Senator Bayh is a good man. Maybe he's just fed up with "clowns" from both the right (Limbaugh, Cheney, etc.) AND the left (Pelosi, Frank, etc.) that he no longer feels that he can be effective.

    Senator Bayh, along with Voinovich (and a few others) seemed to be one of the few people in Congress (IN EITHER PARTY) that appeared like they really wanted to take action against our surging deficit.

    February 16, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  3. jerry

    Finally some of these guys are getting the hint that Americans are fed up with their continual spending and leaving. Hopefully, the rest of them both Republican and Democrat will follow this and finally make the deicision that will help this country.

    February 16, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  4. chorse

    Bunch of whinners. Get back in there and fight, ya big weinie....

    February 16, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  5. JC from Kansas-40 years a Republican :(

    Can ot blame him, catching it from the right, catching it from the left, no one wanting to listen reason or work together. While he is trying to serve those he represents the majority of Congress appears to be serving for their own political and finanicial benefit.

    But it is truely a shame we need more elected officials like Evan Bayh.

    February 16, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  6. bill

    as a dem hoosier.i say good riddence.now maybe he can go to work for his wifes lobbying .against health care. HE IS NOT A HOOSIER.GOOD RIDDENCE

    February 16, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  7. Angy

    when the going gets tough you QUIT?! WHIMPY,WHIMPY,WHIMPY! Its a good thing President Obama didn't pick you as a running mate. You bring to mind another politican that is a quitter. sarah "the quitter" palin.

    February 16, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  8. madmatt

    So bayh is of the opinion that the people should have no say in who they elect...just as well he is leaving he is scum of the worst sort and his wife is even a bigger thief!

    February 16, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  9. deanna

    run rats run cause there is NO re-election for any of you

    February 16, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. jp,michigan

    I strongly believe Obama's administration and ideas are a driving force why so many good men and women on the Hill retire or will be forced out.

    February 16, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  11. Bob R., Lanham, Maryland

    Sen. Evan Bayh, only a selfish, shameless, gutless wonder would cut-and-run as you have. I watched the grimacing face of your eldest son as you made your announcement. I sensed he wanted to crawl into a hole somewhere. A real man would have allowed his children to stay backstage with their mother. I am 70+ and I felt his embarassement and shame deep in my old bones.

    February 16, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  12. southerncousin

    I hope Bayh is planning to run against the obnoxious fool in the White House. He is the type of Democrat that used to be the mainstream of the party when I was a member before the left wing nuts took it over. He could bring a lot of us back.

    Meanwhile, how come the MSM is so silent about that professor who shot those people in Alabama? Because she is a left wing nut and big Obozo supporter. If she was conservative and supported Palin, it would be plastered all over CNN.

    February 16, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  13. Conservative Voice

    The donkey have did this to themselves by their relentless move to the left and forcing out of the moderates and conservatives in their party. It is time for another party comprised of moderates.

    February 16, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  14. Terry from West Texas

    I think we should outsource the Senate. We could find 100 very smart political science graduate students in India who would do the job for a lot less money and they would have the country running like a well-oiled machine in five years. And, we would not have to provide retirement or health benefits, thereby increasing our savings.

    February 16, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. Chris

    More politicians are on there way out. This is the change this country needs. Obama is still the man...the problem that Obama has is that the political system has finally caught up to many people. Americans are not happy with the current system. Democrat, Republican or Independent...take your pick. Turn the chairs over, deal with new people that can make decisions based upon what our country needs and are forward in their thinking. I see a big turnover when the elections come around. Keep in mind, Obama is the right person, but you are only as strong as those below you!!

    February 16, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  16. jeff

    I hate the left and the right.
    Both extremes should be shut out of the political system
    There should be a TEST and if you are over the line in either direction you should be disqualified.

    February 16, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  17. D.U.T.C.H.

    How about all of Congress resign and let the President have free reign?(sarcasm here) Just a thought. Because it seems like the republicans will not let any legislation pass under this President. I wouldnt say that Congress is completely broken, but the fillibuster has to be done away with. I wish it were simple enough for the American people to fire their representatives as soon as they see them obstructing or playing politics. It's going to come to the point when the people are going to use their 2nd Amendment rights against elected officials.

    February 16, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  18. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Look at the bright side democrats–you're not losing a senator, you're gaining an Obama primary challenger. GO BAYH!!

    February 16, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  19. Liberal wing nut

    If that was the case he wouldn't be going anywhere.

    February 16, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  20. Stan

    I have nothing but the upmost respect for Sen. Bayh. One, I do not live in Indiana. I was born and raised in the South Bronx, New York. Recently, I became a fan of Sen. Bayh and was looking for a Presidential run…when he departs Senate. A good MAN will leave. Sen. Bayh I wish you the best of luck and Godspeed.

    February 16, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  21. Grin and Bare It

    The Dems are dropping like Flies. They appear to be leaving in droves. Doesn't say much about the Democratic Party now does it. It must be bad when even they don't believe in what they do anymore.

    February 16, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  22. Thank you Massachusetts

    Bayh says, "if we nominate the right person, I think we've got a real shot". He's right; all they have to do is nominate any member of the Tea Party.

    February 16, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. Vincent

    The Senate will never improve without term limits and keeping the good people around. When honest and hard working people like this get fed up and leave, it leaves the likes of Harry Reid, James Inhofe and others to entrench themselves in lifetime appointments like some kind of royalty.

    February 16, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    Hardly, more like leaving the Reds in a lurch.

    Bayh was in the pocket of big insurance, just like all the cons.

    Bye, Bayh, you will not be missed on a national level.

    February 16, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. Brian L

    Why are conservatives not progressives? Its because they are Regressive! They wont stop until they re-institute slave labor and exploit our children for their profit.

    February 16, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
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