Young defeats Bayh in Indiana Senate race

Rep. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungThe Hill's Whip List: Republicans try again on ObamaCare repeal Stale, misguided, divisive: minimum wage can't win elections Russian network RT must register as foreign agent in US MORE (R) is the projected winner for the open Indiana Senate race, defeating former Sen. Evan Bayh (D) in a major upset.

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Young was seen as the favorite in the traditionally red state until Bayh made a last-minute decision in mid-July to jump into the race for the seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsDon’t throw the baby out with the BATwater Overnight Cybersecurity: DHS bans agencies from using Kaspersky software | Panel calls Equifax CEO to testify | Facebook pulling ads from fake news Mueller investigation focusing on social media's role in 2016 election: report MORE, upending the battle for the Senate majority. Bayh’s entry gave Young a smaller window to introduce himself to voters statewide.

Bayh entered the scene with a double-digit lead and nearly $10 million in funding that made the Hoosier State look favorable for Democrats. Bayh is also a household name in Indiana politics — the former senator also served as a two-term governor and his father, Birch, was a senator from 1963 to 1981.

But Young’s campaign and critics were quick to undercut Bayh’s formidable name recognition by consistently hammering him over his questionable residency in Indiana and his lobbying ties after leaving the Senate.

Those lines of attack made him susceptible to losing some ground in the polls. Young cut his lead in half in the final weeks, and the last poll conducted by a respected GOP polling firm had Young up by 5 points.

Young was able to overcome a substantial polling gap and was ultimately able to convince voters who were backing GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE not to split their tickets.

The congressman keeps the open seat in Republican hands as the party seeks to preserve its slim majority in the upper chamber.