Tag Archives: Pat Roberts

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 RealClearPolitics.com 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.

Kansas turning blue? Maybe

Albert Hunt probably wants this to happen, given his political leanings.

The veteran political journalist is suggesting that Kansas — one of the country’s most dependably Republican states — might elect its first Democratic U.S. senator since 1932.


And you know what? It’s more than just remotely possible.

Pat Roberts is a veteran Republican senator who now is in the fight of his life. The Democrat who had been slated to run against him dropped out of the race. His name will remain on the Kansas ballot, for now; the decision is under appeal.

Roberts now faces a well-funded, popular independent, Greg Orman, a businessman who says he voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and for Mitt Romney in 2012.

As Hunt notes in his article for Bloomberg View, Roberts was beaten up badly in a Republican primary by an opponent who made Roberts’s residency an issue. Roberts didn’t help himself during the primary campaign when he let slip that “home” is Washington, D.C., and not Kansas.

Some polls suggest Orman is leading the two-man race for the Senate.

Even though Orman is a registered independent, he’s getting plenty of help from Democrats who want him to caucus with them if he gets elected.

What does this mean for an expected Republican takeover of the Senate? It means if Kansas, of all places, elects someone other than a Republican, then a GOP takeover might not be nearly as inevitable as a lot of folks are predicting.