Republican Sen. Todd Young defeated former Democrat Sen. Evan Bayh in an incredibly competitive Indiana Senate race that remained contested until the final moments.
Republicans believed that Young, a former Marine and Indiana lawyer, would have an easy path to victory, but that changed when Bayh, a former two-term governor and senator of Indiana entered the race late in July.
Bayh had a substantial lead in the polls in the final week of October, coming in with strong backing from the Democratic party. He found himself, however, trailing in the final moments of the 2016 election cycle.
The former senator received a slew of negative press surrounding his work as a D.C. lobbyist and in private equity following his final tenure as a two-term senator. This press greatly hurt him both in the polls and in the eyes of the public. One Super PAC supporting Republican candidates put forth almost a million dollars creating media ads against Bayh to highlight his activities after leaving office.
It is safe to say that Bayh was attacked on all fronts, and suffered in the polls because of it. His opponents slashed him across the board for: rarely entering Indiana until he decided to run for Senate again, his support of Obama-backed policies, and for leveraging political connections to get his cozy job in Washington after leaving office. In the end, Bayh proved unprepared.
Young was lambasted by Democrats for what they alleged was improper use of a homestead deduction, and for fines he received from the Federal Elections Commission regarding his reporting of contributions to his 2010 congressional run.
Young, however, received substantial backing from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Senate Leadership fund.
The Republican challenger raised a great deal of money, some $8,742,225 throughout the course of the election cycle. His early start no doubt helped him get such a large campaign purse, and allowed him to raise almost $5 million more than Bayh.
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