INDIANAPOLIS - With Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) not seeking reelection this year, Hoosier State voters are seeing some familiar faces on the ballot.
Former Indiana Republican Senator Dan Coats left office in the late 90s. Since then he's served as a lobbyist in D.C. and as U.S. Ambassador to Germany in the George W. Bush administration. Now he wants another go in the Senate.
But two-term Democratic Congressman Brad Ellsworth saw his chance to keep the seat in control of the Democrats. The former sheriff and popular moderate is a Blue Dog who's fiscally conservative and opposed to abortion and gay marriage. Having voted against cap 'n trade, Ellsworth is the sort of Democrat this conservative state embraces.
On paper, Coats looks like a Washington insider, out of touch with Indiana, having lived outside the state for the last decade. Yet Coats has never been behind in this race, and with less than three weeks until voters go to the polls, he leads Ellsworth by more than 15 points in all the most recent polls.
Coats says Ellsworth isn't as moderate as he says, having voted with the Pelosi-Obama agenda the majority of the time. Hoosiers are hurting with more than 10 percent unemployment throughout the state, and here's what he told Fox News' Chief Political Correspondent, Carl Cameron:
Ellsworth defends his record. The congressman from Evansville, Indiana, a district infamous for ousting incumbents, claimed his seat during the 2006 takeover by Democrats. Ellsworth considers himself a true Hoosier, not in lock step with the party, as he explained to Fox News:
Moira Hopkins contributed to this report