Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bayh has a stake in Tuesday's elections

Bayh has a stake in Tuesday's elections

For Howey Political Report Nov. 2, 2006

Break out the lawn chairs, folks, the 2006 midterms and the battle to control Congress are here. At least three of Indiana's congressional races are promising some of the best and most expensive fireworks seen in these parts for quite some time.

Money is pouring in faster than a July gully washer. Yesterday, Congressional Quarterly reported almost $1.5 million new expenditures in the 9th CD by the Republican and Democratic congressional committees. That's just what the national parties reported spending. In one day. In a single race. For representative.

As advertised, Evan Bayh has rolled up his sleeves and come home to join the fun. The boy from Shirkieville, who was raised on all things political, will be offering his good name and considerable talent to encourage voters to support Democratic candidates in the 2nd, 8th and 9th CD races.

Bayh's stake in these midterms is not just political, it's also personal. He's expended thousands of hours and millions of dollars preparing for a run at the White House in 2008. Indiana's three close races present opportunity and challenge to add substance to Bayh's assertion that his moderate brand can help Democrats win red state voters. The two-term senator would benefit should Tuesday's winners credit his assistance, but Democratic losses will be seen as a potential liability.

The senator's communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, tells HPR that Bayh is slated to attend nine events in Indiana, including five press events, two GOTV rallies, a J-J dinner and a breakfast fundraiser.

This afternoon Sen. Bayh will appear at the Kokomo UAW offices with Joe Donnelly, who hopes to unseat Rep. Chris Chocola in the 2nd. Research 2000 reported the Democrat was ahead in an Oct. 31 poll 50/47. This evening Bayh's schedule indicates he will attend the St. Joseph County Jefferson-Jackson dinner and fundraiser at the Mishawaka Fraternal Order of Police building.

Tomorrow he meets Donnelly at a breakfast fundraiser in South Bend, followed by a press event at the Schafer Gear Works. Sunday Bayh is slated to appear again with Donnelly at a press event in Logansport in the afternoon.

Sunday evening he will travel to Columbus for a press event with Baron Hill, who is challenging Rep. Mike Sodrel to regain the seat he once held in the 9th CD. An Oct. 29 poll conducted by Zogby indicated the Democrat was leading by a two-point margin (48/46).

Monday noon Bayh is scheduled to appear with Hill at a GOTV rally in Jeffersonville.

In the afternoon of the last day before the election, Sen. Bayh is set for a press event in Terre Haute with Brad Ellsworth. Recent media reports showed Ellsworth leading Rep. John Hostettler by seven to ten points. Monday night the Plumbers & Pipe Fitters Union plans a GOTV rally with Bayh and Ellsworth in Evansville.


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