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Dem grip tightens on Bayh Senate seat in Indiana

Dems may have dodged a bullet in what could have been one more endangered Senate seat.

Repub. Congressman Mike Pence, who was running even or ahead of incumbent Dem Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana in some recent polls, has decided to seek another term in the House. Pence may be thinking about running for prez in 2012.

Pence is a rising star of the Repub caucus. Indiana is fundamentally a red state (although Obama carried it, barely, in ’08). Evan Bayh, whose father Birch Bayh was senator before him) is personally popular and Dems are lucky to have the seat. You don’t hear Bayh’s name as much as you should on the list of moderate Dems, but by some measures he’s been the Dem who has voted across party lines most often.

Pence announced his plans on his facebook page early this a.m., stating that he believes the Repubs can win a House majority this fall. CQ has more on the story.

The raters have tended to view Bayh as safe in 2010, until those recent polls. If Pence had decided to go for it, the race would have been moved into play.

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