Former candidate might hold Senate key

If the Democrats hold the U.S. Senate — and that remains a huge if — they likely may owe their rescue to a Democrat who wasn’t even on the ballot.

No, I’m not talking about President Barack Obama.

The rescuer might be a fellow named Chad Taylor, a former Democratic candidate for the Senate from, of all places, Kansas.

Yes, that Kansas, one of the most deeply red states — behind Texas and Utah, perhaps — in the country.

Taylor dropped out of the Senate race against incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Roberts. He left the campaign to a third candidate named Greg Orman, who’s running as an independent but who appears ready to caucus with Senate Democrats if he’s elected.

Orman is holding a double-digit lead over Roberts at the moment and with less than a month to go before Election Day, it’s beginning to look rather grim for the veteran Republican lawmaker.

The average of polls shows Republicans with a potential seven-pickup in the Senate; they need six to win control of the place. So, Orman’s possible victory isn’t the only race that could keep the Senate in Democratic hands.

Iowa needs to stay Democratic. North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagen is holding a slim lead over her challenger. And former President Clinton has returned to his home state of Arkansas to campaign on behalf of his pal Mark Pryor, who’s trying to keep the seat in Democratic control.

If it boils down, though, to a single race — the one Kansas — Democrats might have to send former candidate Chad Taylor the biggest bouquet of flowers they can find to say “thanks” for bowing out.

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