Kansas has turned out the be the oddity of the 2014 election. While there are always races to buck any national trend (big and large trends), Kansas seems especially odd. As I posted a while back, Brownback is in deep trouble for reelection. In-fact, he may lose by high single digits. This would put a Democrat back in the Governor's mansion. This could also give some wind to GOP opposition in the Senate race.
Senator Roberts doesn't need any added opposition at the polls this year. After a rough primary, and criticism over his residency in the state, he is a battered candidate to say the least. According to a recent PPP poll, Roberts holds a 44% disapproval rating. Unfortunately, there us no comparison with the Survey USA polls taken since they have not been polling approval ratings in the state this year. Rasmussen gives Roberts a 49% disapproval rating. While neither if these numbers are terrible: for a Republican incumbent in a deep red state; this should be worrying to the Roberts camp.
What could save him? Well, the obvious answer is the electorate of his state. Kansas is just about as red is it gets for federal elections. In a mid-term election, Democratic turnout will be down. Or will it be up? With a Democrat in the lead for the Governorship and with an unpopular Senator running for reelection; Democrats may be more enthusiastic than in other states, this year, about voting.
The Democratic nominee for Roberts' seat is district attorney Chad Taylor. While he is not polling extremely high; neither is Roberts. What is keeping these two candidates from getting out of the 30% range is the presence of a strong third party candidate.
Greg Orman is both a former Democrat and Republican. He voted in 2008 for Obama and for Romney in 2012. He has said he would caucus with the majority party, however he will keep his options open if the balance of the Senate shifts on him.
Could Roberts be in more trouble if his opposition is solidified behind a single candidate? Short answer: yes.