Evan Bayh decision not to run just like Peyton Manning's 4th quarter interception

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh announced today that he will not be seeking a third-term.

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    Indiana Senator Evan Bayh (not pictured) will not be seeking a third term. If you are a Democratic sports fan in the Hoosier state, February is shaping up to be quite terrible.
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If you're a Democratic sports fan from Indiana, this month has been a nightmare. First the Super Bowl and now your near-lock Senator Evan Bayh isn't running again. If bad news travels in threes, you might want to reschedule Wednesday night's Purdue - Ohio State game.

You could say there are some similarities between Evan Bayh's decision not to run and the Colts collapse. They were both favorites to win. And both could be accused of choking at the wrong time.

Manning with the interception toward games end and Bayh with announcing his decision not to run 24 hours before the filing deadline.

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It's damaging enough that Bayh isn't seeking a third term. He was a pretty safe bet. But the timing of his announcement could be catastrophic.

Here's why: In order to get on the primary ballot, a candidate must file a petition of nomination. To get one of these, you need at least 4,500 signatures -- 500 from each of the state's nine House districts. The deadline is tomorrow at noon.

No established Democratic candidate was even thinking of getting a petition because Bayh was unbeatable. So what Bayh did was pull out of the race at the equivalent of the two-minute warning. No one would have time to get all of those signatures.

Although there were plenty of people upset at Bayh's timing, this could actually help the party's chances. The Democratic state central committee gets to pick who they see as the strongest candidate to go up against the Republican. The benefit of this is there's no primary and no infighting.

This is what will likely happen.

However, a little known candidate -- a political novice named Tamyra D'Ippolito -- reportedly has 3,500 signatures. She has about 18 hours to get the extra 1,000.

If D'Ippolito somehow completes this political equivalent of a Hail Mary, she'd be alone on the ballot. Zero name recognition. And, presumably, zero influence. Against someone -- whoever the Republicans pick -- who's been around the block. Sure, Democrats could always launch a write-in campaign in the primary but that's another story.

Getting the thousand signatures is not likely. But it's impact would be the equivalent of Manning's fourth quarter interception.

And make no mistake, Republicans are cheering her on.

It's not likely to happen. And even if it doesn't, Bayh's decision leaves the seat at much risk. The Cook Report moves the seat to Lean Republican while the Rothenberg Political Report moves it to toss-up.

Oh yeah, the Purdue game? Starts at 6:30 p.m. this Wednesday on the Big Ten Network.

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