Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Ellsworth Pulling in Dough; Trails in Poll
While still not yet OFFICIALLY a candidate for the seat to soon be vacated by Evan Bayh in the U.S. Senate, Brad Ellsworth is showing big muscle in raising money.
Ellsworth has raised over $1 million in his fight to keep Indiana's Junior Senate seat blue. The closest Republican is well behind in fundraising, and that's former Senator Dan Coats. Coats raised just shy of $340,000. He continues to fight a nasty primary against four other Republicans and has not been able to put much space between himself and the other R's.
You would figure that the party will collapse in line and the money will start flowing Coats way after the Primary should he win, but there's always the potential of a nasty spat between candidate egos and supporters. It will be a close race that Coats is likely to win.
Despite what some pollsters say, I still like Ellsworth's chances in November. Ellsworth is trailing in a recent Rasmussen Poll by over 20 points. I think that situation will change once he's actually the candidate. Outside of the 8th Congressional District, Ellsworth is not a household name. His money advantage will come in handy because conceivably he can get on television again sooner than Coats (or whomever wins the Primary) will be able to.
Brad Ellsworth is a very conservative Democrat...much to the chagrin of the progressives and liberals in the party, but I believe he will be a very formidable foe for Coats. He has built a wonderful reputation as a public servant in Vanderburgh County and has been a very popular Congressman in the 8th. I look for Ellsworth to move more to the middle on a handful of social issues though it's likely that he will remain more conservative than Bayh was in some areas.
I think that Ellsworth will appeal heavily to independents by virtue of his independent voting record. He and Bayh have similar voting records in Congress, and I think that bodes well for him. Coats will also have to answer for a lot as his record as a lobbyist comes more to light.
It's a great sign for Ellsworth that he's raising significant campaign cash, and, while I don't agree with him on every issue...especially many LGBT issues, I think that Ellsworth is persuadable with good arguments and knowing that he will need all the support he can get to become Senator Ellsworth.