Senate race heats up after tightened poll

A Democratic Super PAC is swooping in to help Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Evan Bayh as Republican Todd Young taps some GOP heavyweights to make the case for his election.

While a Bayh win in November appeared to be favored when he unexpectedly jumped into the race, it appears the race is now becoming something of a tossup. Last week’s WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana poll found Bayh to be leading Young by 4 points, within the margin of error.

Senate Majority PAC has said it will make a big television ad buy in Indiana this week to support Bayh. And Young has had both former President George W. Bush and House Speaker Paul Ryan visiting Indiana to campaign on his behalf.

The Senate Majority PAC told Roll Call that it would take “nothing for granted as we work to win back the Senate this November.” But it declined to say how much it would spend in Indiana.

Most of the Indianapolis stations haven’t yet reported any ad buys yet from the Senate Majority PAC. WTTV reported the PAC purchased 60 spots for a total of nearly $70,000. WRTV reported Senate Majority PAC spent $37,000 on about 40 spots.

They’re trying to counteract heavy ad spending in favor of Young. The Indianapolis Star reported earlier that the Senate Leadership Fund, a Super PAC supporting Republican Senate campaigns, would spend nearly $4 million in ads against Bayh.

Young’s campaign says Ryan will visit Fort Wayne Friday for a fundraiser benefiting Young. The campaign says 100 people will be there.

Bush made two campaign stops this week in Indiana for Young, visiting Elkhart and Indianapolis.

The WTHR/Howey poll, which surveyed 600 likely voters from Sept. 6-8, found that Bayh has the support of 11 percent of Republicans, compared to 5 percent of Democrats who say they will support Young. Bayh is also leading among women, 50 percent to 37 percent, and among minority voters, 57 percent to 30 percent.

Young is leading among male voters, 44 percent to 38 percent, particularly men over 55 years old, where he leads by 53 percent to 35 percent.

The candidates are essentially tied when it comes to the support of men ages 18 to 54, with Bayh a point up.

Bayh’s net favorable score is a positive 20, compared to Young’s net favorable score of a positive 8.

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report still lists the race as “Tilt Democrat."

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