The conventional narrative surrounding Evan Bayh's retirement from the Senate treats it as a downside for Democrats. Bayh represents Indiana, which is a Republican stronghold. Accordingly, many commentators believe that Republicans can extend their recent fortunes by picking up Bayh's seat.
But Bayh's timing brings risks to the GOP as well. Tuesday was the state deadline for candidates to submit paperwork indicating their intent to participate in the senate primaries. Bayh made his announcement on Monday. Republicans will have four (possibly even five) candidates in the primary who will battle each other ferociously for the nomination.
No Democrat, however, filed the required paperwork. Therefore, the Indiana Democratic Party will simply pick one candidate to run in the Senate election, bypassing an expensive and potentially mean-spirited primary.
According to The Hill, Republicans are "furious" and have asked Bayh to petition a court to extend the filing deadline. They hope that some Democratic candidates will come forward now that Bayh is out of the way. It is unclear, however, why Bayh, who is not seeking re-election, would have standing to petition a court to extend the filing deadline.