Evan Bayh’s U.S. Senate chances hinge on defense of attacks to popular image

Evan Bayh on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton in 2008. ("IMG_4009" by Lisa, Attribution 2.0 Generic)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Just how damaging a hit Democrat Evan Bayh has taken to his popular image built over 30 years in Indiana politics could determine whether he recaptures a U.S. Senate seat in Tuesday’s election.

The close race between Bayh and Republican Rep. Todd Young draws to a close after various outside groups have poured more than $39 million into a mostly negative attack ad campaign, characterizing Bayh as someone who left the Senate six years ago for lucrative corporate jobs.

That led Bayh to insist “I’m not a lobbyist” in television ads while striving to remind voters of popular programs implemented during his previous time as governor.

Young is a six-year congressman from southern Indiana has benefited from the Bayh attacks as Republicans seek to retain their narrow Senate majority.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Evan Bayh will repay $737 in taxpayer money spent on overnight hotel stays in Indianapolis when he was still a U.S. Senator.

His campaign spokesman says Bayh is refunding the money out of an “abundance of caution” after facing questions on whether the Senate permitted such expenditures.

Bayh owns a condo in Indianapolis, but his personal schedule shows he stayed in hotels on visits to the city.

Senate records show the Democrat now running for the seat he gave up in 2010 collected several hundred dollars in taxpayer-funded reimbursements for a five-day Indianapolis trip in August 2009. The Senate was in recess and not conducting business at the time.

The Associated Press first reported last month that Bayh stayed at hotels during rare trips to Indianapolis.

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