Former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) will not enter the race to replace retiring Sen. Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race Cyber preparedness could save America's 'unsinkable aircraft carrier' MORE (R-Ind.) in Indiana, a source familiar with Bayh’s thinking told The Hill on Thursday.
Bayh instead will focus on helping former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE win the White House, according to the source.
Bayh would have been a formidable candidate had he run. He has high name recognition and remains popular in Indiana. In addition, he still has nearly $10 million in his campaign war chest.
Many Democrats believed Bayh’s entrance in to the race would be a game-changer for their party, but political watchers in the state were doubtful he would take the plunge. In 2010, Bayh decided against seeking a third term in the Senate, citing frustration over gridlock in Congress.
With Bayh on the sidelines, the path to the Democratic nomination is currently clear for former Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.), who previously served four terms representing Indiana’s 9th district in the House.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTo Build Back Better, we need a tax system where everyone pays their fair share Democrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda MORE (D-Nev.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will host a Washington, D.C., fundraiser for Hill’s Senate bid later this month — a sign that establishment Democrats may be coalescing around his candidacy.
However, State Rep. Christina Hale (D-Ind.) has also said she’s considering running. And John Dickerson, the former director of The Arc, a nonprofit that helps Indianans with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is also mentioned as a potential contender.
So far, there are two Republicans in the race.
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), a Tea Party-aligned candidate, will be seeking to rally the conservative base in the state. Coats’s chief of staff, Eric Holcomb, is also running, and considered a more establishment-friendly candidate.
Rep. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungHow to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) Senate Democrats try to defuse GOP budget drama The 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill MORE (R-Ind.), who defeated Hill in a 2010 House race, is also believed to be considering a bid.
The GOP candidate will likely be favored going into the race. Indiana has only gone for the Democratic presidential candidate once since 1968.