This Man Could Turn Indiana Blue

by Cheyna Roth

In 2016, if a politician hasn't tweeted in over a month, do they really exist? Apparently, yes, and they can even make a comeback on the level of the McConaissance. In an unofficial announcement from CNN on Monday, Evan Bayh, the former Democratic governor and senator from Indiana, is trying to return to the Senate by reclaiming his Indiana seat in the upcoming election. Bayh is replacing the current Democratic nominee for the seat, former Rep Baron Hill. But who is Evan Bayh?

Hailing from Shirkieville, Indiana, Bayh was once the youngest governor in the U.S. at 33 years old. His governorship lasted from 1989 to 1997, and he returned to politics as a senator in 1998. Jaded by the politics of politicking, Bayh did not run for a third term in spite of high approval ratings. In a press conference announcing his retirement from politics, Bayh said "For some time, I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should." He continued saying, "There is much too much partisanship and not enough progress. Too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem solving."

In recent years, Bayh has spent his time as senior advisor of federal public affairs for McGuireWoods Consulting. He also serves on the advisory board for the CIA and is on the board of directors for a laundry list of organizations like Fifth Third Bank, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and Berry Plastics Corporation. He also did a stint on, of all places, Fox News as a commentator and political analyst.

But Democrats are not wooing Bayh for his advisory skills or ability to hang tight with a conservative news channel. Instead, they are hoping his Indiana constituents will forget that Bayh moved to Washington, D.C. and give him back the high approval rating he left office with. Bayh is considered a throwback to a more conservative time for the Democratic party, and his chances are greater in the Hoosier state. Although Indiana has marked itself as a red state, they have been leaning away from strict conservative ideals when it comes to social issues. Just ask former presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz how he lost the state to Republican nominee Donald Trump. Instead, Indiana Republicans are more concerned with financial conservatism than social conservatism, giving a conservative Democrat a chance to steal votes from Republicans who fondly remember Bayh's terms.

There is no guarantee that Bayh will manage to win a Red State, but with the $10 million he has left in his campaign account, he has enough money to give Republican candidate Todd Young a hard time.