LA Democrat at MyDD assumes he can.
I'm not so sure. Yes, he's won his gubernatorial and Senate races there handily. But having those same voters choose him for the presidency, where they could reasonably assume his views--if more liberal than their own--would have more importance, give me pause. And his Republican competition would be much steeper in a presidential race than the state level.
Nevertheless, his prospects in that state, and in other proximate or border states (Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky) are probably better in those places than those any other candidate, at least on paper.
And while we're a million years from 2008, Bush's poll numbers are down everywhere, including these states, giving this Democrat at least a sliver of hope the Democratic candidate can pry one or more of those states away from the Republicans in 2008.
Bayh is also making himself seen. C-Span carried a speech he gave recently for New Hampshire's Democratic-sponsored, Jefferson-Jackson Day fundraiser, which was at least the second time he's been in the state, or at least the second time C-Span carried his presence there in the last couple of months.
At the same time, Joe Biden and John Edwards, appeared to appreciative crowds recently in Kentucky.
With beseiged and unpopular governors in Ohio and Kentucky, Republicans are on the defensive there.
Naturally, there's a lot of time left for Bush to regain his second-term footing, and even if he doesn't fully recapture his previous aura among the faithful, another Republican candidate in 08 may reignite conservatives. And Kentucky's Fletcher and Ohio's Taft will be gone by then.
But its better to have favorable indicators at even this early stage than to not have them.