Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, announced on Monday that he will not seek a third term in Congress this fall.
Bayh's announcement is yet another blow to Democrats, whose hopes for holding onto majorities in Congress this fall are dimming before an increasingly angry electorate. Around the country, a number of Democrats have already announced that, like Bayh, they will not seek re-election. Bayh insisted his decision was not motivated by concern over his own political fortunes, but rather frustration at the increasingly partisan tone in Washington, D.C.
“Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for reelection,” he said.
As Politico.com points out, Democrats may have a difficult time simply holding on to Bayh's seat. Two House Democrats, Baron Hill and Brad Ellsworth, have been a named as potential candidates for the seat. They will face a stiff challenge from former Representative John Hostettler and former Senator Dan Coats.
Bayh made the announcement at a press conference. The New York Times reports that he decided to retire, despite entreaties from President Barack Obama and White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, to seek a third term.