Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) announced today that he would not seek reelection — just days before Indiana’s Friday deadline for the 4,500 signatures required for candidacy in the race.

As TPM reports:

R.J. Gerard, communications director for the Indiana Democratic Party confirmed to TPMDC that the state Democratic Party would be able to select a new candidate to run in November’s general election if no one files petitions with 4,500 signatures (500 within each of the state’s nine House districts) to run in the primary.

So the state Democratic Party is going to pick the candidate for November’s general election. Bayh had been leading in the polls against his Republican challenger, Dan Coats, by a healthy 20-point margin, and Bayh’s exit means that will probably be largely forfeit.

It remains to be seen what Democrats across the country have learned from Scott Brown’s unexpected victory in Massachusetts.