Dan Coats would like to take his seat again as senator from Indiana, but first the Republican needs to get by an avalanche of Democratic opposition research. In the week following his announcement of plans to challenge Evan Bayh, Dems, resolved not to repeat the unexpected loss in Massachusetts, hit Coats with damning info about work as a lobbyist, his Virginia residency, and even a YouTube video where he indicates he would like to move to North Carolina. “We just hit him with a freight train,” an official tells Politico.
The lobbying information—apparently Coats has ties to banks—resonates with his Republican primary opponents, at least. “If there's one group people are more disenfranchised from than Washington politicians, it’s lobbyists,” says one. Coats’ camp brushed off the attack. “It just shows how afraid Democrats are” and how tenuous Bayh’s seat is, a spokesman says. But a senior Indiana GOP official thinks the damage might be done. “This year is a reaction against DC politics,” and Coats was "right there in the middle.” (Read more Dan Coats stories.)