Senate races

Is Roberts out of the woods in Kansas?

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) is facing a tough fight for his seat and remains deeply unpopular in his home state coming out of a bruising primary battle, according to a new Democratic poll.

The automated survey, from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, gives Roberts just 32 percent of the vote to Democrat Chad Taylor’s 25 percent, independent Greg Orman’s 23 percent and libertarian Randall Batson’s 3 percent among likely voters.

{mosads}It’s the third survey out over the past month to show Roberts in a single-digit race, and the latest indication he’s facing a tougher battle for reelection than many in the state predicted.

Only 27 percent approve of the incumbent’s job performance, and 44 percent disapprove, a decrease in approval of six percent from a February poll.

Roberts recently emerged victorious from a nasty primary fight with radiologist Milton Wolf, but won by just seven points and with less than 50 percent support within his own party. He faced residency questions throughout the fight after it was revealed he no longer lives in the home he owns in the state and instead stays with donors when he returns to visit.

He’s still favored in the race, especially if all three of his opponents remain, as they’ll likely split the anti-Roberts vote and give him an opening to eke out a win.

But in a head-to-head matchup with Taylor or Orman, the race tightens significantly. He leads Taylor by just four points, taking 43 to 39 percent, despite the red lean of the state, and actually trails Orman by a full 10 points, taking 33 percent support to the challenger’s 43 percent support; 24 percent remain undecided on that matchup.

The PPP poll was conducted among 903 likely voters via landline and cellphone from Aug. 14 to 17, and has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.

Tags 2014 Kansas Senate Race Chad Taylor Greg Orman Pat Roberts

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