Like Sen. Byron Dorgan's (D-N.D.) announcement in January, Bayh's retirement comes completely out of the blue. The incumbent Hoosier had already raised $13 million for his re-election campaign, and while Republicans thought Bayh might be vulnerable this year, recent polls showed him with seemingly insurmountable leads over his GOP challengers. Indeed, less than a year ago, the National Republican Senatorial Committee conceded that it fully expected Bayh to run and win a third term.
Bayh's retirement gives Republicans yet another pick-up opportunity in a traditionally "red" state, but it's probably a stretch to call it a GOP lock, at least at this point. The Republican field is, after all, led by Dan Coats -- an inside-the-Beltway corporate lobbyist who hasn't lived in Indiana for a decade.
Considering Bayh's close relationship with corporate America, I'm guessing that he's opting out of politics in order to take a board position somewhere.
Though this is being reported as a lock for the Republicans, but this sounds like a very premature statement, as the initial announcement from Bayh is still warm. However, the fact that Dems have literally 24 hours to find someone to run on the ticket does tend to lend an air of credibility to this claim.
My question is - is there more to this than meets the eye? Aside from some scandal that's about to be broken, I see this as nothing more than Bayh opting to leave the work to the real Democrats while he can take a position where he can do just as much, if not more, damage to the Obama administration.