Democrats’ Indiana Senate Prospects Worsen

Tamyra d'IppolitoYesterday’s surprise announcement that Indiana Senator Evan Bayh was dropping his re-election bid on the eve of the filing deadline continues to play out in surprising ways.   Josh Marshall notes that longshot Tamyra d’Ippolito claims to have collected enough signatures to get her on the ballot, which “would leave her as the only name on the ballot in the Democratic primary, effectively making her the Democratic nominee.”  Says Josh,

Holding this seat this year is going to be a serious challenge regardless of who they field. But observers don’t seem to think d’Ippolito would have a shot even in the best of years.

The logical fallback for Dems is to consolidate around an alternative candidate and mount a write-in campaign. That’s doable but not an easy road.

Truly a bizarre position, considering Bayh seemed a shoo-in for holding the seat a mere 24 hours ago.

It could be worse.  Nick Gillespie riffs on Katrina vanden Heuvel’s suggestion that the Dems recruit John Cougar Mellencamp and finds that a certain family which lives in a small town has been the beneficiary of quite a tidy sum in farm aid from you and me.

UPDATE: d’Ippolito’s claims appear to be a might premature.  Indeed, Steve Benen passes on this Politico report:

No Democrats qualified to run for the seat of retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) by the Tuesday noon deadline, a huge relief for party leaders who feared that an obscure candidate could make it onto the ballot and seriously complicate Democratic prospects for holding onto the seat. State party officials will now select the party’s Senate nominee for November.

According to the state elections division, no Democratic candidate other than Bayh had collected the required 4,500 certified petition signatures, including the requisite 500 from each of the state’s nine congressional districts, to make the ballot.

Tamyra D’Ippolito, a Bloomington cafe owner who had been challenging Bayh for the nomination, appeared to fall far short of the mark. According to state Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker, she gathered just 22 valid signatures across the state.


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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    You know, Letterman’s from Indiana. And his sex scandals are already out there.

  2. UlyssesUnbound says:

    You know, I met with this woman when she first announced her candidacy. I had a lengthy interview with her to surmise her views, her talents, and if she had the cajones to actually run. I can say that Sarah Palin and the world’s comedians should be crying right now, as D’Ippolito’s run would have been the biggest comic windfall of the last decade. No one would have paid any more attention to Palin for the next 9 months.

  3. Drew says:

    “Indiana wants me….Lord I can’t go back there…”

    My father’s version: “Back home again, in Indiana…..”

  4. mpw280 says:

    It sounds like the race for Lt Guv in Illinois, wait till after the primary to spring the news that the guy is unelectable due to past problems with beating up women, dating hookers and what not. That way the party gets to pick the candidate rather than the people. Sure looks good on paper for the conspiracy theory people, I wonder how it will hold up in the long run. If it holds up it won’t reflect well on Bayh, who up until now has had a great reputation. mpw