Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bayh Defeats Young in Only Debate of 2016 U.S. Senate Race

Evan Bayh
Last night's debate between Todd Young, Evan Bayh, and Lucy Brenton turned out to be a rout after all.  The winner was Evan Bayh.

Bayh was on his best game all evening long and showed absolutely no rust as he expertly took every political attack Young could throw at him.  Bayh was even successful at diverting several of the attacks right back at Young.  For example, Young attacked Bayh for walking away from the Senate as things started to heat up again in the War on Terror.  Bayh easily sidestepped the brunt of the attack by explaining his national security credentials and deftly used the opportunity to attack Young's record on veteran's affairs.  Young found himself on the attack all night, but he left himself wide open for Bayh to knock him around a bit.

Young repeatedly tried to make Bayh out to be an out-of-touch lobbyist who cares more about his bottom line than Hoosiers, but that's a tough case to make on Bayh.  For his part, on several issues, Bayh said he disagreed with Hillary Clinton most notably cap and trade and general trade policy.  Bayh pledged, as he has for years, to work across the aisle.

Repeatedly, Young touted his Hoosierism and the fact that he's a former Marine.  There is certainly
Todd Young
nothing wrong with his service, and I thank him for it.  It just seems that this is the basis of his entire campaign instead of accomplishments he might be able to point to over six years in Congress.  In fact, it was like Young wanted people to believe that Bayh was coming at this race as the incumbent.  Bayh one time pointed out that it was Young and not him that was actually in Congress currently.

Lucy Brenton
Lucy Brenton was entertaining.  While she definitely made her Libertarian friends happy with her campaign rhetoric all night, she provided more of a sideshow at times to the main event
between Young and Bayh.  Brenton notably was the only candidate to talk extensively about being a parent (mother of 10 children).

It was not a good night for Todd Young.  The few remaining undecideds in the race did get to see a stark contrast between the Congressman and the former Senator.  Bayh was very smooth all night and rarely found himself in trouble.  Young was the aggressor showing that he believes the polling that he is behind in the race.

This one will be close on Election Day, but I didn't see anything that Bayh did to lose the election. He had an excellent debate.  This one will largely come down to what the voters think in this and which candidate they trust with their vote.

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