INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced Monday that the Democratic presidential candidate is pledging $500,000 toward Indiana’s gubernatorial race and the U.S. Senate showdown between Todd Young and Evan Bayh.
The move is a subtle sign from Clinton that she’s confident she’ll be elected, and a key political move, in trying to turn the U.S. Senate toward Democratic control. Bayh is a long-time Clinton ally.
Democrats need to flip just a handful of Senate seats to be successful, likely the motivation for the late attention to Indiana.
The money will be used for voter mailers and ads.
“It’s surprising given that the Clinton campaign did not invest here in the primary, but it’s not surprising considering the environment that we’re in right now,” said Jennifer Wagner, former spokeswoman for the Indiana Democratic Party.
If Democrats get charge of the U.S. Senate, a potential president Clinton would encounter less resistance.
“It would be much easier for her to implement her agenda, if she had support in Congress,” said Wagner.
It’s a worst-cast scenario for Republicans, as polls continue to show Clinton winning the race.
“It’s the worst of all worlds quite frankly,” said Mike Murphy, a GOP strategist, “If the Democrats get control of both the presidency and U.S. Senate, Katy bar the door, because it’ll be liberal government for decades.
Murphy said that’s because the Senate confirms U.S. Supreme Court Justice, along with treaties and cabinet appointments.
A poll last week from Monmouth University showed Evan Bayh with a six point lead over Todd Young.
The Clinton money will also go into ads for John Gregg in the governor’s race, who in a poll last week from Monmouth University was up 12 points over Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb.
Holcomb’s campaign Monday acknowledged the Clinton funds but maintained the governor’s race is tighter than that poll reveals.
"I don’t think even Democrats think those numbers are legitimate,” said Pete Seat, with Holcomb for Indiana, “This is a tight margin-of-error race. We put out an internal poll showing it is tied 42 to 42.”