7. I dispute the part about Evan Bayh the Blue Dog.
You are likely right that he didn't run because he knew he would lose. But it is not because Indiana is so conservative. That is total hogwash. Bayh was not going to win because he was not a real Democrat. Just like Ellsworth who won the nomination was not a real Democrat. Many Democrats were becoming disillusioned with Bayh. I was one of them. When we see that his wife Susan was on the boards of health insurance companies, he supported killing the estate tax, he was very lukewarm towards any type of health care reform, he had to be dragged to a rally in support of another candidate, he never attended a major Democratic event in our area in the last 12 years, among other things he would have serious trouble winning re-election. In the petition process to put his name on the ballot he found out that groups that normally support Democrats did not get active for him. That included Democratic county organizations. If you can't get them to go out and get people to sign the petitions how was he going to win re-election. If he had really worked at it he could had gotten the signatures.
His successor as Governor, Frank O'Bannon won counties that Bayh never won in perceived Republican holdouts. And Frank was a better Democrat than Bayh. One of the major reasons IMO that Bayh won his elections was because voters knew his father Birch Bayh, a Senator that actually accomplished something in the Senate unlike Evan. The only reason I really have any inkling about Birch is because of my interest in history and knowing of his involvement in amendments to the Constitution. I'm nearly 60 now and it has been 25 years since Bayh was first elected to office. During those 25 years many of those "Hoosiers" that elected or knew Birch have died off. And many that remain don't think much of Evan anymore. It might had been different if he had really been a better Governor and Senator. But he didn't make much of a mark.