Game On in Kansas

Republicans should probably pause in their triumphalist celebrations over positive polling data from Alaska and Arkansas long enough to note that their Kansas nightmare is taking actual form, per a new SUSA poll of the Sunflower State’s Senate race:

The latest KSN News Poll, conducted by SurveyUSA exclusively for KSN-TV, released Monday indicates that, if the race for the U.S. Senate were held today, September 8, and Chad Taylor’s name remained on the ballot, Independent Greg Orman and incumbent Republican Senator Pat Roberts are effectively tied. Orman would get 37 percent of the vote, while Sen. Roberts would get 36 percent of the vote.

Ten percent of likely voters polled still said they would vote for Chad Taylor, despite the fact that about 7 in 10 likely voters in Kansas are aware that he has withdrawn from the race.

Depending on how legal maneuverings go, Taylor’s name could be struck from the ballot. But it’s likely the percentage of Kansans voting for him will go down rather than up between now and November, so that 10% should be viewed as a strategic reserve of Orman votes.

We’ll see how the national GOP rescue mission for Roberts works out. But it’s not a real good sign when a three-term Republican incumbent in one of the most Republican states in the Union can’t pull more than 36% in a general election poll.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.