IN-Sen: Who Will Run? (UPDATE: Pence Won’t)

How about Mike Pence? From the Politico:

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) will speak with aides this afternoon to discuss whether to jump into the Indiana Senate race. […]

But aides are skeptical he’ll pull the trigger. There are concerns that he publicly passed on the opportunity to run last month, citing the GOP’s strong position in the House. Further, he’s considered among the strongest candidates for governor of Indiana in 2012.

Privately, aides to Pence say he was concerned about Bayh’s $13 million in the bank, but now Pence could be able to “walk into the seat,” according to an aide.

I find it hard to imagine Mike Pence actually doing this — the mechanics seem to be too difficult to pull off with the filing deadline so soon. That said, the rumors are swirling; we’re even hearing some chatter about Gov. Mitch Daniels plunging into the race.

For the Democrats, speculation seems to be centering on current Reps. Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill, ex-Rep. Tim Roemer (the current Ambassador to India), and Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, who is viewed as one of the party’s leading candidates for the gubernatorial race in 2012. But of course, Democrats may need to make sure that the ballot is clear before getting the opportunity to hand the nomination over to any of these guys. (And, as it stands right now, that’s an open question.) Otherwise, we may be looking at a Charlie Wilson-style write-in campaign.

UPDATE (Crisitunity): So what about Tamyra d’Ippolito, college-town coffee shop owner and erstwhile Senate candidate? TPM contacted her camp and finds that she’s currently 1,000 votes short of the required 4,500, with a particular shortage in IN-08 (she needs at least 500 in each congressional district). Somehow, given the choice between running her or naming their own preferred candidate, I don’t think the party will get actively involved in the efforts to help her to get on the ballot in time. Neither does d’Ippolito: “So I have no idea what they will do, but they have not been cooperative so far,” d’Ippolito added. “It would be nice if they turned around and became cooperative, but I don’t know.”

UPDATE: It’s now sounding like Mike Pence won’t run, despite an hour or two of interest. Chris Cillizza tweets that Pence’s spokesman’s official statement is: “Mr. Pence has filed for re-election to the 6th Congressional District of Indiana.” Which apparently is code for “no.”

LATER UPDATE (James): d’Ippolito’s campaign manager has told Real Clear Politics that their chances of getting all the required signatures are “slim to none”, but that they won’t step aside if they somehow do.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Cross former Democratic Governor Joe Kernan off the list; he says he won’t run.

107 thoughts on “IN-Sen: Who Will Run? (UPDATE: Pence Won’t)”

  1. 2012, not 2010.  that said, when the snow stops, I say we egg his house!  immature? yes. ineffective? yes.  cathartic, hell yes!  douchetard!

  2. I’m usually a defender of Bayh on this blog.  I don’t know why he would leave reasonable moderates like Ellsworth, Hill or Donnelly in a bind if they happen to want to run.  This frustrates me more than the Biden situation because Beau NEVER gave the impression that he wanted to run.  It was all assumed.    

  3. Out of the US representatives (current or former), Hill strikes me as the right balance of moderate enough to appeal to Indiana, but no so far to the right that he’ll cause a lot of Nelson-Bayh-Lincoln wailing about how terrible Democrats are. I could see both Ellsworth and Roemer doing the latter a lot.

    Weinzapfel would be an interesting option too though.

  4. We don’t lose a House seat and get a young, charismatic guy from the right part of the state. Who, BTW, does not currently work in Washington DC and who has never been a lobbyist or lived in Virgina. If he runs a strong campaign I’d easily give us the advantage in a Weinzapfel / Coats race.

    And if it’s one of the congresscritters, I hope it’s Baron Hill. Interestingly, he ran against Coats in the 1990 Senate election, only lost by like 7 points even though Coats was the incumbent, it was a good Republican year, a more Republican state and Hill was only a state rep. Hill’s got more money than Ellsworth and also has been a better representative in terms of voting record, IMO.  

  5. a replacement candidate when the incumbent drops out regardless of whether other primary candidates have filed.  Otherwise, fringe candidates could end up being the nominee on a regular basis.

  6. that, coupled with )hopefully) a good candidate means we might have a shot.  Plus indiana might not be as red as we think.  Obama did in, we gained 3 seats in 06, daniels and bush’s wins could be chalked up to bad (or nonexistent in Kerry’s case) campaigns.  this is what happens when we don’t run in a state, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  the repubs win in mass will encourage them to run more there, and hopefully we will have the guts to run more here.

  7. When in need of humor, I often turn to Wonkette, which headlined Bayh’s decision thusly:

    “Someone Get Harold Ford On a Plane to Indiana.”

    Remember: it could be worse, Indiana Democrats!

  8. and for the first time, Bayh actually showed some ability to launch a few zingers and not just be the monotone robot he’s been for the last few years. “I don’t love Congress” was like the most blunt statement he made. Maybe if he had been this honest before, Obama probably would have selected him as Veep or some other cabinet job.

    But I was struck about something else he said: “I am an executive at heart”. It could mean he might run for governor again. Mitch Daniels is term limted in 2012, and Bayh will only be 57 in that year.  

  9. You know, as I’m looking at the situation, I wonder if he quit the race today on purpose, knowing there wouldn’t be time for any one else to get in the race before the filing deadline, knowing the Republicans were stuck with a weak set of candidates and knowing the Dems would be able to pick the strongest nominee possible come August.  

  10. Hill would be BY FAR the more reliable Democrat. Hill is basically a mainstream Dem who calls himself a Blue Dog to appeal to his right-leaning district. Hill would probably be slightly to the left of Bayh.

    Ellsworth, OTOH, is a genuinely conservative Democrat. He’d be another Ben Nelson.

    On the other hand, maybe Ellsworth would be more electable? If Hill is equally electable though, I really hope they go with him.  

  11. I’ve been going to various blogs, and one thing Ed Morrissey from the right wing blog Hot Air has stated is that he thinks having to nominate through caucus will make it easier for a “left-wing idealouge” to be nominted by the Dems. Is this true? It is true in Minnesota, where Morrissey is from (Minnesota has probably the worst nominating system in the country), but I’m wondering if it’s likely that someone like Ellsworth (who is apparently pro-life, among other things), would have a hard time making it through the nominating process.  

  12. needed signatures by the Friday deadline? And therefore get her on the ballot.

    (That would be one hell of a dirty trick. Do these sigs need to be Democrats, or from any registered voter?}

    Would the Dem party still be able to name a candidate?

  13. That holds up here with Evan Bayh. Basically he skips out on re-election with less than a week left, doesn’t tell Reid before doing it, and hands his seat over on a silver platter to the Republicans.

    Those 18 and 20 seat majorities are going to look pretty sweet compared to how the Senate will break down in 2011 and 2012.

  14. Bayh’s real reason for retiring, as tweeted by Ezra Klein:

    Apparently, Evan Bayh wants to spend more time scolding his family for moving too far to the left.

  15. Late to the party comment wise but this is a disaster. And just as there were signs of some improvement in Obama approval, the economy and polling across the board. All these retirements are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Senate control clearly in play now. Fingers crossed they can sort out the filing issue to get someone decent here to void a double-whammy catastrophe.

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