GOP's Dan Coats Sails To Senate Win In Indiana

Coats, who returns to the Senate after a decade's absence, cruised to victory over Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth on Tuesday night. He retired in 1999 to become a lobbyist. Coats replaces retiring Democrat Evan Bayh.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

A closer look now at some Senate races, starting with Indiana. Republican Dan Coats will take over the seat of retiring Democrat Evan Bayh. Coats easily beat his Democratic opponent, as NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports.

WADE GOODWYN: Brad Ellsworth was behind in the polls from the very beginning of this race against Republican Dan Coats, who returns to the Senate after a decade's absence. Coats retired in 1999 to become a Washington lobbyist for Wall Street banks and the oil industry. In Congress, Republicans picked up two House seats. Republican Dr. Larry Buschon, a cardiologist, easily won in the Southwest part of the state, and in what was the biggest Hoosier surprise of the night, Tea Party favorite Todd Young trounced Democratic incumbent Congressman Barron Hill in what polls had predicted would be a contest that would go down to the wire.

At Indianapolis's Union Station, Republican Congressman Mike Pence celebrated the GOP's success.

Representative MIKE PENCE (Republican, Indiana): This night is not so much a victory for any political party. It is a victory for the American people, who stood up with one voice and said enough is enough.

GOODWYN: In the one bright spot for Democrats, incumbent Congressman Joe Donnelly was able to hold off Tea Party candidate Jackie Walorski. Donnelly was expected to win comfortably, but ended up eking out a victory by less than 4,000 votes out of 190,000 cast. Wade Goodwyn, NPR News, Indianapolis.

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