Friday, February 19, 2010

Ellsworth in Indiana

Cillizza: "Indiana Rep. Brad Ellsworth announced today that he will seek the seat being vacated by Sen. Evan Bayh."

I still like John Mellencamp -- not that that was ever realistic -- but Ellsworth is a solid choice for Dems in a purple state that leans right:

Handsome, telegenic and with the sort of voting record during his two terms in the House that makes him a viable statewide candidate in conservative-minded Indiana, Ellsworth is rightly seen as a recruiting coup for a DSCC that was caught off guard by Bayh's decision (as was the rest of the Democratic political world) and had been badly bruised and battered by retirements and the special election victory of Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in recent weeks.

That said, Ellsworth is not Bayh and starts out at a significant name identification disadvantage against former Sen. Dan Coats, the likely Republican nominee. Republican strategists also note that Ellsworth supported President Obama's health care bill last year, a vote they plan to use against him this fall.

It won't be easy, but at least the Democrats, with Ellsworth, would have a good shot at holding onto Bayh's seat.

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