Washington Post and Fox News carrying breaking news that Democrat Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana is bowing out and will not seek re-election.
Stay tuned for more…Update: Press conference will be streamed live here.
Via The Fix:
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh will not seek re-election this year, a decision that hands Republicans a prime pickup opportunity in the middle of the country.
“After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so by serving in Congress has waned,” Bayh will say.
Bayh will announce the decision at a press conference later today.
Via RCP (h/t Major Garrett), here’s a summary of Bayh’s numbers.
Flashback: From last month, here were the Bayh v. Pence numbers reported by Rasmussen before Pence took a pass on the race.
Baseball Crank Dan McLaughlin quip of the week: “Take-home lesson for GOP: you can’t tell who will fold until you push them.”
Question: What’s Bayh going to do with his $13 million war chest?
Answer: Preserve his political viability.
Yikes, this wasn’t very considerate, was it?: “Bayh’s decision will set Dems scrambling for a replacement. The deadline to file to reach the ballot is Friday, meaning any Dem considering running for the seat must make a decision quickly.”
The Indianapolis Star has more details on Bayh’s prepared statement:
“My decision was not motivated by political concern,” he added. “Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for re-election.”
Bayh had never lost an election, from his first win in 1986 as secretary of state, his wins for governor in 1988 and 1992 and his election to the U.S. Senate in 1998 and 2004.
“But running for the sake of winning an election, just to remain in public office, is not good enough,” Bayh said. “And it has never been what motivates me. At this time I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor.”
Only days ago, Bayh’s staff, close associates and Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker, who was manager of Bayh’s re-election campaign, had assured an Indianapolis Star reporter hat he would definitely seek a third term in the U.S. Senate.
Update: Pence will stick with his decision not to run. Good call. Doing otherwise would have smacked of credibility-ending opportunism.