[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/05/art.bayh.smiles.jpg caption="Evan Bayh will introduce Obama Wednesday at a town hall."]
(CNN)— Speculation swirled around a potential Obama-Bayh ticket Tuesday after Barack Obama’s campaign confirmed the two senators will appear together at an Indiana town hall Wednesday morning.
Bayh, a junior senator from the state and a major Hillary Clinton backer during the primary season, will introduce the presumptive Democratic nominee at a town hall in Elkhart, Indiana.
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CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib argues Bayh, who is reportedly one of the leading contenders on Obama’s VP shortlist, brings three advantages to the Democratic ticket.
“First, Bayh’s service on the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees counters Obama’s perceived weakness in foreign policy,” said Silverleib. “Second, Bayh’s largely centrist voting record helps counter GOP arguments that Obama is a typical liberal. And third, Bayh puts Indiana’s 11 electoral votes into play. If Obama becomes the first Democrat to carry the Hoosier State in 44 years, it could be potentially devastating to the McCain campaign.”
Since 1932, only two Democrats have carried the state of Indiana. Franklin D. Roosevelt won Indiana in the 1932 and 1936 election and Lyndon Johnson carried the state in 1964.
Late last month, the Indiana senator held a press conference where he brushed off questions about his odds of joining the ticket — but would not say whether or not he was interested in the job, or whether he was being vetted by Obama’s vice presidential search team.
"I love serving the people of Indiana — and I think any questions about the vice presidential thing are understandable and it’s good for my ego, but I should probably let Senator Obama and his campaign address those kind of questions," Bayh said.
Since then, Bayh has appeared with Obama on the campaign trail and has been a familiar face on political talk shows advocating for Obama’s policies.