Tags: Dan Coats

The First Two Senate Races Are Called. Randslide Complete.


Jack Conway feels the full wrath of Aquabuddha. Congratuations, Senator-elect Rand Paul.

Dan Coats beats Brad Ellsworth in Indiana.

For the fifth year, I will spend Election Night behind the desk on Cam Edwards’s show, heard on SiriusXM’s Patriot Channel and over the Internet at

Tags: Dan Coats , Rand Paul

If You’re Ahead by 6, 30 Days Out, History’s on Your Side.


An interesting new rule of thumb from Nate Silver:

Senate candidates who have a lead of between 6 and 9 points in the simple polling average, with 30 days to go until the election — about where Mr. Toomey’s lead stands now — are undefeated since 1998.

That is a fantastic way of looking at things for Pat Toomey, as well as for Roy Blunt in Missouri, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Marco Rubio in Florida, and Dan Coats in Indiana.

Oh, and John Boozman in Arkansas, John Hoeven in North Dakota, and incumbents Richard Burr in North Carolina and David Vitter in Louisiana, but . . . come on. Those races have been effectively over for a while.

It’s ominous news for Carly Fiorina in California and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. As for the rest of the big Senate races — Nevada, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, and West Virginia . . . well, we’ll have to wait and see.

Tags: 2010 , Dan Coats , Kelly Ayotte , Marco Rubio , Pat Toomey , Rand Paul , Ron Johnson , Roy Blunt

A Trio of Interesting Polls From Rasmussen


Interesting bits and pieces from Rasmussen in the past 24 hours . . .

In Indiana’s Senate race, Republican Dan Coats leads Brad Ellsworth, 50 percent to 34 percent. That’s actually good news for Ellsworth, who previously trailed, 50 percent to 29 percent. A Coats victory isn’t surprising; what is a bit surprising is that the Democrats further endangered a House seat by persuading Ellsworth to make this Senate bid, and Coats could well help create coattails for three Republicans in House races in this state.

In New York’s governor’s race, Democrat Andrew Cuomo leads Republican Carl Paladino, last seen pledging to clean Albany with a baseball bat, 54 percent to 38 percent. While I wouldn’t bet money on a Paladino win, that’s a bit closer than I think most expected this race to be.

It’s the same margin — 54 to 38 — in Maryland’s Senate race, where longtime incumbent Barbara Mikulski leads Republican Eric Wargotz. In Mikulski’s past four elections, she has won 64.7 percent, 70.5 percent, 71 percent, and 60.6 percent. Obviously, she’s heavily favored in November, but she may be a useful indicator; well-established Democratic names in deep-blue states can expect to run six points or so behind their previous all-time worst.

Tags: Andrew Cuomo , Barbara Mikulski , Brad Ellsworth , Carl Paladino , Dan Coats , Eric Wargotz

Indiana’s Senate Race Remains Close, at Least by Blowout Standards


In Indiana’s Senate race, Republican Dan Coats clings to a 21-point lead over Democrat Brad Ellsworth, 51 percent to 30 percent.

Tags: Brad Ellsworth , Dan Coats

I Guess Brad Ellsworth Just Isn’t That Big a Deal


On the veep’s schedule today: “At 12:30 p.m., the Vice President will attend an event for Representative Baron Hill in Jeffersonville, Indiana.”

A fan of GOP Senate nominee Dan Coats notices that either Biden is avoiding Democratic Senate nominee Brad Ellsworth, or Ellsworth is avoiding Biden.

UPDATE: That’s strange. Another Democrat running for Senate says he’s busy:

Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Louisville Monday to discuss how federal stimulus dollars have benefited the state, but his party’s candidate for Kentucky senator will not attend.

Biden will speak at 11 a.m. at the headquarters of GE Appliances & Lighting. Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville are expected to join him.

However, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jack Conway has a scheduling conflict and will not be at Biden’s visit, Conway’s campaign manager, Jonathan Drobis, said.

Tags: Baron Hill , Brad Ellsworth , Dan Coats , Joe Biden

A ‘Senior Obama Aide’ Makes It Up as He Goes Along


Via Jay Cost, I see the White House is attempting to make the argument that the anti-incumbent atmosphere will hurt Republicans as well as Democrats. Cost rightly points out that you can count the number of vulnerable incumbent Republicans in Congress on one hand.

But here’s the quote that makes me wonder if anybody at the White House is paying any attention at all to the House elections:

“Dan Burton got less than 30 percent of the vote and the only reason he survived is because there were six people in the race with him,” said one senior Obama aide. “Dan Coats was the choice of the party and a former United States senator and he barely got 40 percent of the vote. The Republican Party is in fact marginally less popular than the Democrats.”

Dan Burton’s an example of a vulnerable Republican incumbent, hmm? Let’s take a look at his Democratic challenger, Tim Crawford. For starters, his campaign logo rather clearly evokes a Christian cross. Here are his self-described positions: “Pro-life, anti-big-government, pro-gun, anti-national ID, pro right-to-work, anti-cap and trade, anti-mandatory health insurance.” If he and Burton debate, the moderator may have to look hard for a disagreement.

Oh, and Crawford isn’t taking any donations: “This campaign is being funded out of my pocket alone. I am not accepting any donations due to the economic circumstances in our nation and around the world. Whatever you were willing to give, please, take it and make a charitable donation to a reputable not-for-profit organization.” A nice sentiment, but we can interpret this stance to suggest Crawford will compete with no television or radio advertising, no mailers, and an entirely volunteer get-out-the-vote operation. Burton, by contrast, has represented Indiana in the House since 1982 and has $300,000 in the bank in a district that scores R+17 in the Cook PVI. (I wonder if the senior Obama aide who mentioned Burton even knows who Crawford is.)

On the example of Coats, note that the senior Obama aide is arguing that an anti-incumbent wave will help a current member of the House overcome a former senator who left office in 2000. Indiana’s voters are angry at Washington, so they’ll punish the guy who hasn’t been there this decade, by electing the guy who has been there since 2006.

Tags: 2010 , Barack Obama , Brad Ellsworth , Dan Burton , Dan Coats

It’s Not Quite ‘Turn Out the Lights,’ but Maybe It’s ‘Grab Your Coats’


According to Rasmussen, Dan Coats’s chances of being the next senator from Indiana are . . . healthy:

Newly chosen Republican nominee Dan Coats earns 51% support while his Democratic rival Brad Ellsworth’s attracts 36% in the first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the Indiana Senate race following Tuesday’s GOP Primary.

Six percent (6%) of likely voters in the state favor some other candidate. Eight percent (8%) remain undecided.

When I say “healthy,” it’s deliberate:

Ellsworth voted in favor of the recently-passed national health care plan, but 59% of Indiana voters favor repeal of that plan. The Indiana finding includes 48% who Strongly Favor repeal. Thirty-eight percent (38%) oppose repeal, with 26% who Strongly Oppose it. Those figures are similar to the national average.

Tags: Brad Ellsworth , Dan Coats

Rounding Up Tuesday’s Primaries . . .


Last night in Indiana, Dan Coats won the GOP Senate primary, pretty much as expected. He won 39 percent to Marlin A. Stutzman’s 29 percent, and John Hostettler’s 23 percent. Coats leads Brad Ellsworth by 16, by 21, or by 1 if you listen to the Daily Kos poll.

A bit of a surprise in Indiana’s 9th district, where Mike Sodrel will not be the GOP nominee against Baron Hill; with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Todd Young appears to have a 1,000-vote lead.

Elsewhere in Indiana, Todd Rokita will be the GOP nominee in the 4th district.

Rep. Dan Burton narrowly won his primary in the 5th district.

Dr. Larry Bucshon will lead the GOP in the race to win the seat of Ellsworth.

In Ohio, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher beat Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in that state’s Democratic Senate primary, and will now face the GOP’s Rob Portman.

The polling in this race is close, although I would like to see some more non-Kos, non-Quinnipiac polling.

The Democratic Senate primary in North Carolina effectively goes on another few months: Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and former state senator Cal Cunningham are headed for a June 22 runoff after neither candidate broke 40 percent of the vote.

Tags: Baron Hill , Dan Coats , Lee Fisher , Mike Sodrel , Todd Young

If Dan Wins Tomorrow, We’ll Have to See if He Has Coats-Tails


Indiana’s primary day is tomorrow, and for Republicans, the big fight is in the Senate race. I chatted with frontrunner Dan Coats here, and looked at the three leading Republicans here.

As a congressman, John Hostettler never seemed that interested in fundraising, and he’s demonstrating the same aversion as a Senate candidate. But he’s polling respectably, and does quite well in head-to-head matchups with Democrat Brad Ellsworth. We will see tomorrow just how well relying on grassroots activists works in a competitive primary; in the end, it probably helps to run a television ad or two.

Marlin Stutzman has attracted some passionate support, and there’s no shame in a 34-year-old finishing a respectable second or third in a Senate primary. His future in state politics looks bright; if and when Mark Souder retires, the Howe, Indiana resident would seem to be a natural replacement, and one has to wonder how many more terms the 66-year-old Coats would want to serve.

Since he surprised the political world by jumping back into politics, Coats has attracted criticism: that he’s a retread, that he’s spent too much time out of the state in the past years, that his past lobbying work was too lucrative, and so on. We don’t quite know what tomorrow holds, but so far, Indiana Republicans don’t seem too concerned. As Coats said in an interview, the voters know him and his record, and that goes a long way in Hoosier country.

Down-ticket, there’s a very crowded primary on the GOP side in the 4th district, represented by the retiring Steve Buyer: 14 Republicans are competing; the two leading in the money chase are Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita and state senator Brandt Hershman.

In the 5th district, Dan Burton has several well-funded primary challengers, but I would be surprised if the 14-term incumbent was knocked off.

Finally, there is a crowded GOP primary in the 8th district, where Sacrifical Lamb Congressman Brad Ellsworth is leaving to lose compete in the Senate race. Dr. Larry Bucshon is the best-funded candidate.

UPDATE: Over at the Weekly Standard, John McCormick writes about the possibility of Hostettler, whose “foreign policy views are well outside the Republican mainstream,” sneaking through. To be honest, I just don’t know who’s going to win this primary; none of them have knocked over McCormick yet.

Tags: Brad Ellsworth , Dan Coats , John Hostettler , Marlin Stutzman

Coats, No Tie


The folks on the Dan Coats for Senate campaign cheerfully note that the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics conducted a poll of Indiana’s Senate candidates, and their guy is ahead.

In the GOP primary, the poll found former senator Dan Coats leading with 36 percent, former congressman John Hostettler second at 24 percent, state legislator Marlin Stutzman third at 18 percent, two lesser-known candidates in low single digits, and 13 percent undecided.

In a head-to-head matchup, Coats leads likely Democratic nominee Brad Ellsworth, 47 percent to 31 percent.

Tags: Dan Coats

Chatting With Dan Coats


I chatted with Dan Coats, the once and perhaps future senator from Indiana.

I asked how the mood in Indiana had changed since Barack Obama won the state on Election Night 2008. “There’s a great deal of buyer’s remorse,” Coats said. “What we’re seeing is not what he promised, not what we thought he would be… He promised a vision that was nothing like what we’re seeing now.” Coats said he’s heard from independents and Democrats who have

“Health care was a catalyst,” Coats said. “There is this sense of arrogance and defiance, after what happened in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts… You could see the will of the people in rallies like the Tea Parties, and the engaged opposition to health care. There’s this deep frustration, and fear that we’re being led down the wrong road… We’re losing the America we grew up with, a sense that the values we grew up with are being thrown out the window by this administration, replaced with a nanny state, a sense that the government will take care of the people, and just forget about the deficit and the debt.”

The polling in the state is pretty sparse, but it appears Coats leads narrowly, with state senator Marlin Stutzman and former congressman John Hostettler the two closest competitors in the GOP primary.

“I’m applying for the job, just like all the others. We have five conservatives, so in many ways we’re all singing off the same song sheet,” Coats says. Asked what separates him from his Republican competitors, the 66-year-old, who represented Indiana in Congress from 1981 to 1999, declares his experience, emphasizing the ability to make “tough decisions in a time of war.” He mentions that his second day on the job as U.S. Ambassador to Germany was 9/11.

Coats says the country needs “a really solid, tough, experienced hand” to deal with what he calls twin crises, a fiscal crisis and a crisis abroad stemming from the threats of terrorism and nuclear proliferation. “Hoosiers know me, and they know my record.”

I asked Coats what he thought of the man he’s likely to take on if he wins the primary, Democratic congressman Brad Ellsworth. “I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but you get to a point where people wonder whether you can match what you do in Washington with what you say back home. I don’t see how you can say you’re pro-life, for fiscal discipline, and opposed to runaway government spending and tax programs, and then with a little pressure from Obama, from Nancy Pelosi, and from Harry Reid, cave” and vote for the health care bill.

“How can people depend on you?” he asks.

Finally, asked whether already having the title “senator” helps get people to vote to return him to the same office, Coats chuckles, “ask me May 5,” referring to the day after the primary.

Tags: Dan Coats

Subscribe to National Review