The Kansas Senate Race Presents Democrats With an Opening — and an Awkward Dilemma
When Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) defeated a pesky tea party challenger earlier this month, it looked like the longtime senator extinguished the only real threat standing between him and a fourth term.
But with less than ten weeks until the election, Roberts, who endured a bruising primary, finds himself in an unexpectedly competitive race against a Democratic challenger and an independent who has emerged as a wild card. The close contest has presented Democrats with an intriguing, if delicate, opportunity to shift the race in their favor, and help themselves in the battle for the Senate majority.
Roberts’s Democratic challenger is Chad Taylor, a little-known Shawnee County district attorney who has waved off help from national Democrats, despite raising little money on his own. Independent candidate Greg Orman, a former Democrat who says he is open to aligning himself with either party in the Senate, has raised more money and has the potential to tap his personal wealth for further reinforcements. One recent automated survey from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling showed Orman leading Roberts in a head to head race. In a two-man race against Taylor, Roberts led.