Dem groups invest big in Bayh in Ind. Senate race
© Courtesy of Evan Bayh
The two largest outside groups supporting Democratic Senate candidates are investing heavily in Indiana, where former Sen. Evan Bayh is mounting a comeback bid.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has purchased nearly $3 million in television time for commercials set to begin running Tuesday.
The ads will bolster Bayh, who finds himself in a tougher-than-expected race against Rep. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungGOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements Statesmen seek bipartisan solutions to big challenges The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says he is fighting testimony to protect presidency MORE (R). Early polls showed Bayh leading Young by a wide margin, though more recent polls have showed a closer race.
A Howey Politics Indiana survey conducted earlier this month showed Bayh leading Young by a 44 to 40 percent margin.
After retiring from office in 2010, Bayh maintained a nearly $10 million war chest, which allowed him to begin advertising heavily almost from the moment he entered the race.
But Republicans have not seen Bayh as unbeatable, and outside groups wasted little time airing their own ads accusing him of having gone Washington and ditching his home state.
The Senate Leadership Fund — a group tied to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads network — has purchased more than $5 million in airtime across Indiana. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has already spent another $600,000, though the group has not purchased new ads in recent weeks.
Democrats need to net five seats — or four if they keep the White House — to win control of the Senate. 
The party has canceled advertising time in Ohio and Florida in recent weeks as both races appear out of reach, and in Wisconsin, where former Sen. Russ Feingold (D) leads Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonImpeachment surprise: Bills Congress could actually pass in 2020 Senate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules Trump, GOP shift focus from alleged surveillance abuse to Durham Russia probe MORE (R) by a wide margin. 
Democrats have used that money to invest in Indiana as well as North Carolina, where Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrGOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties North Carolina congressman says he won't seek reelection after redistricting Senate passes bipartisan bill to permanently fund historically black colleges MORE (R) faces former state Rep. Deborah Ross (D). The DSCC has purchased $5.7 million in airtime to run on Ross’s behalf in North Carolina, an ad campaign that began last week.