Senate races

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.
 
{mosads}The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has purchased nearly $3 million in television time for commercials set to begin running Tuesday.
 
And the Senate Majority PAC — a super-PAC tied to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid — has purchased nearly $1.1 million in ads set to run through Oct. 10.
 
The ads will bolster Bayh, who finds himself in a tougher-than-expected race against Rep. Todd Young (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.
 
Bayh entered the race for retiring Sen. Dan Coats’s (R) seat in July, after a furious lobbying effort by national Democrats to convince him to return to the Senate. 
 
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 Johnson (R) by a wide margin. 
 
Democrats have used that money to invest in Indiana as well as North Carolina, where Sen. Richard Burr (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.
Tags Dan Coats Harry Reid Richard Burr Ron Johnson Todd Young
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