On Monday, Indiana Democratic Senator Evan Bayh announced that he will not seek reelection in November, a move that may give Republicans yet another opportunity to level the playing field in Congress.
Bayh’s decision blindsided many Democrats, including those in his own state who had already begun working on his campaign, according to The New York Times. The Indiana senator made the announcement in spite of pleas by President Obama and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who both urged Bayh to run for reelection.
At his press conference, Bayh expressed his frustration with partisan politics while stating that the institution of Congress is "in need of serious reform."
"For some time, I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should," he said. "There is much too much partisanship and not enough progress. Too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem solving."
Specifically, Bayh cited his concern with the Senate voting down a bipartisan commission to deal with the federal deficit and his frustration with the recent failed attempts to create a jobs bill.
In November, Democrats will try to defend five seats left vacant by retiring Senators.