Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsGOP loads up lame-duck agenda as House control teeters Congress allows farm bill to lapse before reauthorization deadline Pat Robertson asks followers to help cast 'shield of protection' ahead of hurricane MORE (R-Kan.) has narrowed independent Greg Orman's lead in the Kansas Senate race according to a new Democratic poll that shows him consolidating the GOP base.


The survey, from firm Public Policy Polling, gives Roberts 41 percent support to Orman's 44 percent support, with Libertarian Randall Batson taking 5 percent.

It marks a substantial improvement for Roberts from the last PPP poll, conducted a month ago, which gave Orman a 10-point lead over the senator. That gain for Roberts has come largely from a significant improvement with Republicans. He had only a 26-point lead with his own party in September, he now leads by 37 points, taking nearly two-thirds of likely GOP voters.

Roberts is still little liked, with only 37 percent of likely voters approving of his job performance, but Orman has taken on water over the last month as well, and now is down to a net plus-4 favorability, from a 20-point margin last month. Now, 42 percent of respondents view Orman favorably, while 38 percent view him unfavorably, indicating that as voters have gotten to know him, they've been displeased with what they've found.

That follows the barrage of attacks Orman has faced over the past two weeks since national Republicans woke up to Roberts's unexpected vulnerability in the state. GOP outside groups have spent millions of dollars attacking Orman as a dishonest closet Democrat, and those attacks might be responsible for convincing Republicans to back Roberts.

Another data point from the poll suggests those attacks are on point: 52 percent of likely voters in the state would prefer Republicans control the Senate than Democrats. Orman hasn't yet indicated whom he'd caucus with if control of the Senate came down to the Kansas seat, but many of his positions, including his support for gay marriage and ObamaCare, have given Republicans ammunition to argue he would likely choose Democrats over Republicans.

If Kansans buy the GOP's argument, it may be enough to deliver Roberts a win, despite his persistent unpopularity in the state.

The automated survey of 1,081 likely voters was conducted Oct. 9-12 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.