It's not another rematch with Mike Sodrel, but Indiana Congressman Baron Hill's re-election bid is shaping up to be just as hard fought as his four battles against Sodrel.
The race against Bloomington attorney Todd Young (R) is living up to its billing as a batteground race for control of the U.S. House. Both campaigns have already rolled out attack ads.
"Todd Young is not for us," an elderly woman says causticly at the end of Hill's newest commercial, in which the Hill campaign quotes Young calling Social Security a "social welfare program." Young says he was merely referring to Social Security as it is described by the U.S. government on the Social Security web site.
With 50 days until the election, the attack ads are already blaring between Hill and Young.
Hill says Young can't be trusted to protect Social Security.
Meanwhile -- with more than 200,000 views on YouTube, it was just a matter of time before Baron Hill's health care town hall meeting comments made their way into an attack ad against him. And a new Todd Young ad is almost entirely made up of using Hill's own words against him.
"This is my town hall meeting," Hill says on a recording of the August, 2009 health care town hall meeting in Bloomington, which has been viewed more than 200,000 times on YouTube. "You're not going to tell me how to run my congressional office," Hill continues.
While Young is counting on the frustration and anger of Southern Indiana voters holding Hill accountable for several key votes, Hill says that's not happening and that voters he encountered during a recent walking tour of all twenty counties of the congressional district were positive and engaged about his voting record, which includes siding with the Obama administration on health care reform and the stimulus.
Despite polls that show the American electorate is set to make Democrats pay for those votes, Hill says - unlike the Republican Revolution of 1994 - Democrats have had time to prepare for the GOP onslaught in 2010.
While there have been few if any public polls on the race, everyone agrees it is going to be close. Several national pundits rate the election a toss-up, but the University of Virginia's Larry Sabato now says that Indiana's Ninth District "leans Republican."