The Indiana Senate race will soon be upon us, and the prospects are not looking good for Brad Ellsworth. But the handsome Congressman should not be underestimated, as he has a sizable war chest and a Democrat attack machine on his side.
Democratic Congressman Ellsworth entered the race after Evan Bayh dropped out, among rumors that he may be seeking the presidential nomination in 2012.
Ellsworth is favored in the May 4th Indiana primary over relative unknown Tamyra R. D'Ippolito, who had raised no money at last count, compared to Ellsworth's cool million.
Republican former Senator Dan Coats leads Ellsworth, while a libertarian-likable John Hostettler also has a favorable lead of seventeen points versus the Democratic congressman.
According to the Hostettler campaign, Coats is a closet RINO. This charge is backed by Coats' liberal voting record, such as his vote against semi-automatic weapons (pretty much all modern civilian firearms) and for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Even the Indiana GOP has taken notice and has gone against the clueless NRSC to oppose the national party organ's backing of Coats.
Other candidates in the field include openly free market candidate Richard Behney, farmer and state legislator Marlin Stutzman, who is racking up a respectable campaign fund, and a pragmatic conservative Don Bates Jr., who is second only to Stutzman in funding.
Indiana leans Republican by an average of six points, so exposure in the general elections is probably not as big a fight as getting the right Republican in to face off against Ellsworth. By my estimate, that candidate should be John Hostettler, though Stutzman, Bates Jr., and Behney are all palatable candidates.
It is still early, and Ellsworth should not be underestimated. Ellsworth has a large campaign chest and a state government that is not afraid of voter fraud. Hostettler may have a big lead on Ellsworth now, but he also appears to be short on funding at last count (contribute). That will need to change by November if a hypothetical Hostettler bid is to overtake both the NRSC-backed RINO Dan Coats and the Democrat attack machine.
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