There is a lot of hand-wringing out there among worried Hoosier Democrats and that is always good, we tend to perform better in elections when we are ginned up with a healthy dose of fear and certainly Senator Bayh wants his supporters to take his reelection seriously and not discount his challengers, but before we let things get too out of hand, lets remind ourselves that Dan Coats is just another candidate who has been out of the spotlight for a while, hasn’t even scared off his primary challengers and isn’t some kind of saviour.
Politico’s Jessica Taylor reports the following:
Former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats starts his campaign against Democrat Evan Bayh at a double-digit disadvantage, according to a Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll released Thursday.
Bayh is ahead by 20 percentage points in the poll, leading Coats by 55 percent to 35 percent, with 10 percent of respondents undecided. The second-term Democrat holds a 40-point advantage among independent voters, who back him 64 percent to 24 percent. Bayh currently draws a substantial number of Republicans away from Coats, taking 26 percent of GOP votes to Coats’s 68 percent.
Only a narrow plurality of voters — 38 percent — say they have a favorable view of Coats, with 34 percent viewing him unfavorably. Bayh, meanwhile, has an approval rating of 61 percent, with just 33 percent holding a negative opinion of him and 6 percent undecided.
Coats first announced his interest in a campaign against Bayh last week and gave a round of interviews in Indiana Wednesday confirming his plans to run. The only remaining obstacle to his candidacy is Indiana’s requirement that candidates gather 500 signatures in each of the state’s nine congressional districts before declaring. Coats has expressed optimism that he will meet that goal.
The poll also tested a matchup between Bayh and former GOP Rep. John Hostettler, who is already in the race against Bayh. Hostettler runs marginally closer to the incumbent but still lags by 16 points, 53 percent to 37 percent.
The poll was conducted Feb. 8-10 and surveyed 600 likely voters.