Evan Bayh 1, Baron Hill 0
Well, that's that. Baron Hill will not run for Senate and will defer to Brad "the Beautiful" Ellsworth, effectively guaranteeing the end of his political career.
Baron's decision to decline a run amazes me; he had to be under enormous pressure from Birch's Boy and Brad the Beautiful not to run.
Baron is the loser in this no matter how you think about it.
Despite his vocal desire to run for Governor in 2012, Baron is likely to see that dream crushed by a bid by Bayh to return to the Statehouse. Every Democrat I talk to takes it as an article of faith that Evan Bayh is going to run for Governor in 2012; that has the effect of sucking the air out of the room regardless of how true (or not) it might be. No future for Baron there.
Also, Ellsworth currently trails badly in Senate polling, but it's still early. Ellsworth will likely lose in November, though perhaps by a much smaller margin than the 20% or so he is currently polling behind Coats, Hostettler, or whichever other Republican comes out of the primary.
So long as the 2010 Senate race is relatively close, Ellsworth will be the de facto Democratic nominee to challenge Dick Lugar (or whichever Republican gets the nod to run to replace him). No future for Baron there, either.
That leaves Baron stuck here in southern Indiana to face Mike Sodrel again in November, and lose. Such a defeat will be the end of Baron's political career, as Monroe County will be drawn out of the 9th District in redistricting next year, effectively making the 9th into a safe Republican seat.
And if, by some miracle, Baron were to beat Sodrel (or face a weaker opponent), Baron would only find himself with a two-year respite thanks to redistrict that will see him defeated in 2012 anyway.
No matter how you slice it, this whole thing has been bad for Baron Hill. He got railroaded out of a chance for a Senate seat, his gubernatorial ambitions have probably been crushed by Democratic dreams of a Bayh Restoration, and the train of Mike Sodrel and redistricting is racing down the track toward him at full speed.
If Baron Hill was a stock, I'd be selling him; it's not going to get any better.