February 16th, 2010
08:43 AM ET
13 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. Puddin

    It is sad that our political system has caused a good man to leave. However, both he and Podesta are right on target. The American political system is not working, and "the people's business is not getting done." I have to hold Republicans more accountable. When Clinton was in it was Gingrich and Bob Dole causing the trouble. They have been replaced by McConnell and Boehner, and the likes of Demint and Limbaugh. They want to see this president fail because they want all the power and credit IF anything good gets done. They don't get that it is not a game, but their (both Dems and Repubs) decisions effect the citizens of the country; situations for the citizens are being made worse by their "games."

    February 16, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. alphonso

    the dems found their man rep.baron hill who is from the bloody 8 cong. district.he know how 2 win tight races

    February 16, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. geecee

    Can't say I blame him one bit. Why would anyone want to serve in this horrible American institution called Congress any longer. I have never witnessed a bunch of do-nothing, hateful, naysayers in my entire life (and I am a senior citizen). Congress has become nothing but a thorn in the side of the American people. No wonder Bayh and Patrick Kennedy do not want to participate in it any longer. Anyone with integrity wouldn't. Such a shame. The stupid voters in this Country elect obstructionists to do a job that a go-getter, forward-thinking, logical, decent, caring American should do–helping this Country get on its feet and moving it forward so all Americans can enjoy a decent way of life. But instead we are left with wimpy, weak Democrats, and hateful, destructive Republicans who won't give our President the time of day, and just want him to fail. So, why would any patriotic American want to participate in this folly??

    February 16, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. Dar

    We will see come November how successful you thought your party was when you lose most of your seats because you follwed a fool and his deminted dreams and tryed to cram a very bad HC reform down our throats.
    The Dems have showed us their true colors and most of Americans didnt like it.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    February 16, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Liz

    We have a chance in the fall if we stand together against republican't obstruction and get something positive done for the American people. the minority party being able to totally thwart all progress in legislation is criminal. this isn't democracy, this is a hijacking of the political process by the losers. if we can't overcome this, our country is in serious trouble. if the American people give control back to the party that almost destroyed this country, they deserve to have them finish the job!

    February 16, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. alex lyrics

    How about giving that 15 million in money you raised for your campaign to him then Senator in its entirety??????????

    February 16, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. Tom in Delaware

    Ha...what spin....he didn't even call Harry Reid to let him know beforehand....Reid found out by a reporter sticking a microphone in his face...what a joke.

    He made the announcement 24 hours before the filing deadline for the Democratic Primary...now any serious contenders will have to be 'Write-Ins'.

    Bayh was no 'lock for re-election' either...just more spin...like Martha Coakley being a shoe-in against Scott Brown.

    Face it...this is just the Canary in the Coalmine...many more moderate Dems are going to join him.

    November 2010 – Your Big Vacation

    February 16, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. Hows that nonunion made Toyota workin for ya?

    Lets all guess who Evan gets a job with,within a year to this date.

    February 16, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. GT Hill

    Vote all Republicans and "moderate" Democrats out of office. Replace them with true Democrats so that the Congress and Senate CAN move this country forward.

    February 16, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. Wiley Smith

    I feel most members of the Senate and House are out for themselves and not the people they supposedly serve. They get great health benefits, salaries, expense accounts, and pensions. What sacrifices have they made?

    February 16, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Angus McDugan

    Actually, the democratic party left him and all dems with a brain in the lurch.

    February 16, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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