Does the return of Evan Bayh mean Democrats will retake the Senate?

Evan Bayh of Indiana is set to announce his candidacy for the Senate on Monday.
(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Democrats nervously eyeing November's up-for-grabs Senate seats can breathe a sigh of relative relief as former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh on Monday is set to announce his candidacy in the Hoosier State, CNN reports.

Ever since incumbent GOP Sen. Dan Coats said over a year ago that he would not run for reelection in Indiana, Democrats have had their fingers crossed that Bayh would step up to the plate. They're in luck, apparently: The campaign manager for Baron Hill, the Democratic candidate originally slated to be on the ballot, accidentally told Politico on the phone that Hill would be leaving the race, with Bayh as his replacement.

"Democrats have a very real chance at winning this Senate seat, especially with a strong nominee who has the money, name identification, and resources to win," Hill wrote of his decision to leave the race. "I intend to stay involved and do everything I can to help elect a Democrat to the U.S. Senate."

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Bayh dropped out of the Indiana Senate race in 2010, leaving about $10 million in his campaign account — an appealing number to Democrats, given Hill had raised less than $1 million in the first 10 months of campaigning. Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) had been expected to handily win the seat in November, but Bayh's entry into the fray upends such predictions.

Although FiveThirtyEight estimated last month that the Democrats have just a 1 percent chance of winning back the Senate majority, the site's analysts agree that Bayh is the candidate to beat in the race for Coats' seat.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.