Mitt Romney will hand down a new group of endorsements Monday, backing a slate of GOP candidates in the state of Indiana. He’ll endorse former Sen. Dan Coats in the race for Evan Bayh’s open seat, back prosecutor Todd Young’s challenge to Democratic Rep. Baron Hill and state Rep. Jackie Walorski’s challenge to Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, and endorse cardiologist Larry Bucshon and Secretary of State Todd Rokita for the open seats of Democrat Brad Ellsworth and Republican Steve Buyer. Romney’s PAC, Free and Strong America, is donating $5,000 to Coats and $2,500 to each of the House candidates. That puts the former Massachusetts governor’s mark on every competitive federal race in the state of Indiana and comes on top of the more than 100 candidate endorsements Romney’s made this cycle, and the more than $200,000 his PAC has given to candidates and causes.
Why would Indiana be such a focus for Romney? Obviously, the Senate race and three of the four House races represent competitive pickup opportunities for the GOP this cycle. But two potential 2012 contenders hail from the land of Hoosiers: Gov. Mitch Daniels and Rep. Mike Pence.
There’s always the chance that two high-profile contenders from the same state might cancel each other out, competing for the same base of support, but if Romney were to pick off the endorsement of a prominent Indiana Republican or two, it might be a feather in his cap.