Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mike Pence For U.S. Senate?

There's been a lot of buzz in the blogosphere about a potential candidacy by U.S. Rep. Mike Pence for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Evan Bayh. A Pence candidacy would deal a major blow to the numerous candidates already in that crowded primary race, including former U.S. Rep. John Hostettler, State Sen. Marlin Stutsman, and businessmen Don Bates and Richard Behney. If Pence makes the run, I would expect him to win the nomination and win the race this November. It's a difficult decision for him though. Republicans in the House of Representatives could easily pick up about 30 to 40 seats this fall based on the direction of things so far this year. With Pence's leadership position in the House, his influence would increase considerably there. He might actually have a higher profile as a leader in the House than being a freshman U.S. Senator. What should Pence do? Stay in the House or go for the Senate?

23 comments:

Indy Student said...

I'd like Hostettler for Senate. In a primary, I'd go for John over Mike.

Downtown Indy said...

I think his ever-increasing influence in the House should have precedence over thoughts of moving to the Senate.

But I also think he'd win handily if he ran for senator. I would be proud to have him as my 'representative' in the Senate. I wish he was my representative in the House.

Michael said...

Hostettler is an unknown and has never shown an ability to raise money. Moreover, he has a reputation of being a wingnut and was once arrested for carrying a concealed firearm in an airport in Louisville. Mike Pence would clear the GOP primary field, would raise tons of money, and could beat Bayh in this environment.

My thinking is that the only reason he is thinking about NOT running vs Bayh is that it would mean he would give up a real shot at becoming Speaker of the House down the road.

Indy Student said...

Michael,

Hostettler is a lot of things, but a wingnut he is not. I'd say he is consistently conservative. Even though he espouses his Christian beliefs (the infamous moth-to-a-flame comment on the House Floor), he voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, voted against the Iraq War resolution, and has a very good rating from the NRA. He's already started running for Senate, and he's admitted he has to allow PAC money if he hopes to win.

That said, I could easily see myself supporting Pence if he campaigned. But politically, I think he'd be better served in the House.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Hey, Michael, I'm the wingnut. I don't like people taking my label that I wear with pride.

danmac8888 said...

Pence will not run. He is looking at a run for Gov or Lugar's slot. He has at least 3 of his former staff members working for Don Bates Jr.

guy77money said...

Go for the Senate! Sure he would be a freshman Senator for a short time, but the guys way to smart to not move up into a leadership role in a quick fashion. Obama has shown he can't lead so it should be a blood bath for the Democratic party this November. I wonder who is running against Pelosi? Now if we can just send her packing...

Cato said...

Hostettler is a real conservative who has made a stand for right and wrong.

Litmus test: where does Pence come down on the foreign wars?

If you support our current wars, you're a neocon, a Liberal, and you should leave the Republican party.

Another litmus test: Patriot Act. Has Pence ever stood up for Freedom?

Diana Vice said...

I'd vote for Mike Pence no matter what office he ran for. Personally, I'd like to see a Pence-Palin presidential ticket someday.

Sir Hailstone said...

Stay in the House. When we take it back this fall he could very well be Speaker. And really who has more influence over public policy - Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama?

Michael said...

Hostettler is a SoCon wingnut. In some years that is a good thing. Not 2010. Scott Brown gave the GOP a road map to victory. Taxes (cut them), Spending (stop it), National Security (strengthen it). If a Gooper starts talking about abortion, gay marriage, etc etc... even in Indiana this year, he is dead meat. No one cares about those issues this year. Heck, Hostettler voted for CHUCK BALDWIN last year. He does not raise money. He is unknown statewide.

Plus, Pence can run for Gov or Lugar's seat in 2012 even if he loses this year. Lugar, after all, won in 1976 after losing to Birch in '74.

Like I said, Pence may want to stay in the House if he thinks he can be Speaker someday. If that is not in his thinking, he will probably run vs Bayh this year.

Michael said...

does bates live in pence's CD?

dcrutch said...

I think a conservative replacing Bayh may have changed with Brown winning in Massachusetts & President Obama seemingly calling off the dogs on health care. Combine $12M+ and Bayh's see-saw pursuit of fiscal responsibility, and I'm not dead sure Bayh can be had - unlike 48 hours ago. If the Democrats indeed had their political Jesus moment, then maybe the better collective gambit is to protect Pence in a House that will gain ground while gambling on Hostettler (or whomever- presuming Republicans also realized foolishness is now over). "Whomever" will need LOTS of money, activism, and a break, especially if the President and Congress are done with far left thrusts for the year that would otherwise make Bayh look bad.

The President and Congress keep being stupid and force Bayh to choose between party and country? You tell me.

Rose Mary Woods said...

Bates does live in Pence's district. Some have suggested if Pence makes the move Bates would be offered support to run for Pence's seat.

An internal poll suggest Pence may be able to beat Bayh. Staff members are divided on a Senate run, with the notable voice of Bill Smith saying Pence should stay in congress.

Michael said...

"Fortune Favors the Bold"

artfuggins said...

Congressional candidates are not required to live in the district where they wish to run for election.

jodi said...

I would hate to see Pence get in. We have a very viable candidate against Bayh in Marlin Stutzman. I agree that Pence would have more responsibility in the House after Nov. Then, I would like to see him run in 2012.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I do not think that Pence, or any other Republican so far mentioned as interested, can prevent Evan Bayh's reelection, and also think that if most any other Kennedy, including Ted's wife, had run in Massachusetts, on Tues., that person would have been elected, not Brown. That is the way it is.

Michael said...

MCB...

Bayh, in spite of talking tough, voted EVERY STEP OF THE WAY in favor of the Health Care Bill. That is a HUGE millstone around Democrats this year.

This year is shaping up to be a wave year like '94..... the question is... which '94? 1994 (Dems lose 54 seats) or 1894 (Dems lose 125 seats).

You have independents fleeing the Dems like the plague. In MA, indies voted 71-23 for Brown!! That is better than the margins in the VA and NJ races two months ago.

You have a dispirited Dem base that will rival their malaise in 1994.

You have an angry electorate that will use the R on the ballot as the default STOP button.

You have no sign that Obama or his congressional allies are going to tack away from their policies... they are going all-in Thelma/Louise style.

And you have an economy that will not be any better, and will probably be worse, by election day. There is NOTHING coming out of Washington that is inspiring any confidence amongst employers and producers. Quite the opposite, banks and businesses (big and small) and consumers are paying down debt and hanging on to their cash for dear life. They are very worried and uncertain about what will come out of DC next.

In such an environment, waves turn to tsunamis. Maybe Bayh will survive. I dont think he will. His father didn't, and he just gave the GOP a LOT of ammo with his dissembling and votes on Health Care.

People are in no mood to forgive and forget this year. Believe me.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Thanks for your clear analysis, Michael. And then, also, there is always the unknown, namely, Diebold.

avaindiana said...

Why would we want to retain any Senator or congressman in office right now ? or elect them to any kind of position or power ?Why is it that we keep looking for our leaders among the corruption ? And over look our duty as Americans to hold these men accountable ?
Representative Mike Pence (IN). Current Office: U.S. House voted Yes 02/07/2008, Economic Stimulus Plan HR 5140,
Representative Pence voted YES On HR 3199
PATRIOT Act Reauthorization
Representative Pence voted YES
USA Patriot Act of 2001

Michael said...

Pence is polling AHEAD of Bayh right now....

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections2/election_2010/election_2010_senate_elections/indiana/election_2010_indiana_senate

Michael said...

Pence would have more power, imo, as a jr sen from Indiana than he would have as Majority Whip. I dont see how the Speakership or Maj leader is in the cards for him anytime soon.

If he wants to be Gov or take Lugar's seat, running a tough losing campaign vs Bayh this year wont hurt him.

I understand he is praying about this decision. I would think that events of the past month, including this poll, are signs from God for him to run.