Comparing Coakley, Bayh

The earthquake from the Massachusetts senate race yesterday won’t rumble through Indiana’s own race this year,
predicts IUPUI political scientist Brian Vargus.

In Massachusetts, Republican upstart Scott Brown knocked off Democrat
Martha Coakley for the seat held by the late Ted Kennedy because she didn’t campaign well and was viewed as aloof, Vargus
says. By contrast, Evan Bayh, also a Democrat, is entrenched and would be extremely difficult to beat.

only candidate to announce a run for Bayh’s seat, John Hostettler, a Republican, isn’t raising enough money to
compete with Bayh’s substantial war chest, Vargus says. Hostettler also doesn’t have a large profile outside the
8th Congressional district in southwestern Indiana where he served from 1995 through 2006. “You can’t beat somebody
with nobody,” Vargus contends.

Secondly, he adds, Democrats will support Bayh even though the base is disgusted
with his relatively conservative voting record.

On a scale of zero to 10, with zero being dead in the water and
10 being invincible, Vargus puts the Bayh’s chances at a seven.

The best shot at defeating Bayh would be
to run a populist campaign and paint him as an elitist, Vargus says. Play up his Virginia law degree, his Georgetown home
away from home, his wife’s corporate board seats. And even then, it probably wouldn’t be enough.

are Vargus’ thoughts. What are yours? About Bayh? Massachusetts?

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