February 15th, 2010
08:58 PM ET

Is it too tough to be a centrist Democrat?

Sen. Evan Bayh, a former two-term governor, was elected to the Senate in 1998.

Sen. Evan Bayh, a former two-term governor, was elected to the Senate in 1998.

Ed Hornick

Facing a backlash from the liberal wing of their party, Sen. Evan Bayh and other centrist Democrats are examining their re-election options and deciding to simply walk away, political analysts note.

"Because Democrats are scared, some people are saying 'it's not worth it ... there's not a place for my voice,' " said political analyst Jennifer Donahue. "It's looking like an exodus - between him and Sen. Chris Dodd and open seats that look like they could easily be Republican pickups."

But it not's just centrist Democrats feeling the heat from the edges of their party - former GOP Rep. J.D. Hayworth announced on Monday that he would take on Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party's last presidential candidate, in his home state of Arizona.

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Filed under: Democrats • Evan Bayh • Raw Politics
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. gwensadler123

    I listened to his speech, and with every word I was nodding my head in acknowledgement. I truly can understand why he is leaving. He was elected to serve the people. If he feels that he can no longer make a difference,then it is commendable to not run for re-election.

    1998 is a long time to hold office and constantly argue and fight. It's like a bad marriage or relationship. It's depressing and draining on your health, and emotions. Heck he could be enjoying the remainder of his life with his family. Taking those great vacations, and simply enjoying life.

    Senator Evan Bayh if your feelings are sincere on why you are leaving, I wish you well. Good luck!!

    February 16, 2010 at 12:35 am |
  2. Harriette

    Not too hard to be a centrist–just too late. Someone should have had the spine to step on Newt long ago when this admiration of aggression for the sake of aggression began.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  3. Marianne

    I'm glad Bayh is leaving. We don't need quitters in Congress. We also don't need people too weak to stand up for their beliefs. When the going is tough the tough get going. Good Riddance on Bayh.

    February 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    It may be more of an incumbent issue than who is centrist and who is not. There have been numerous political conversations about getting rid of the incumbents and starting over again with all new people. If it is then everyone in Congress who has been there for a while may be in trouble on re-election. In the end, however, governing from the far left or the far right would not be a solution for the majority of people in this country; we need centrists to maintain a balance. So the centrists that are in DC now may be replaced with other centrists. It will be interesting to see what happens.

    February 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm |