Monday, February 15, 2010

Evan Bayh Retiring UPDATED

Via Politico comes this huge blow to Senate Democrats.  They're dropping like flies folks:

“After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so in Congress has waned,” he said.

“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.”
Stacy McCain  wonders whether the National Enquirer has been snooping in Indiana lately.  Good question.  With Mike Pence taking a pass on running for the seat, Bayh might have faced a grueling election anyway but he had the benefit of incumbency.  His favorables  were under 50% in a recent Rasmussen poll which is a bad sign.  It seems more likely Bayh was facing repercussions for his health care vote:

As in many other states, there is a strong correlation between support for the congressional health care plan and voting behavior. Just 37% of Indiana voters favor the plan, while 60% oppose it. Those figures are similar to the national average and include 16% who Strongly Favor the plan and 48% who are Strongly Opposed.

Those who Strongly Favor the plan overwhelmingly prefer Bayh. Among those who are Strongly Opposed, 80% say they’d vote for Pence, 70% for Hostettler and 56% for Stutzman. In Stutzman’s case, 17% of those who Strongly Oppose the plan would vote for Bayh, and 26% are either not sure or would prefer a third option.
Bayh cited excessive partisanship according to television news reports.  There seems to be some resentment growing for the plank walking the leadership and Obama administration asked of their members.  I bet there are more than a few like Bayh who are increasingly resentful of the votes they were forced to take for seemingly naught but despair in the end.
Domino Effect? - Bayh another liberal mugged with reality, could be.

More Updates:  Reid Didn't Know About Bayh's Retirement
Memeorandum has more

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