To no one’s great surprising, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach was required to strike Democratic Senate candidate Chad Taylor’s name from the November 4 ballot insofar as Taylor had properly withdrawn from the race.

Now Kobach will shift to Plan B, an effort to force the Kansas Democratic Party to replace Taylor on the ballot. What this is all about, of course, is diluting the Democratic vote going to independent candidate Greg Orman, who has been leading Sen. Pat Roberts in recent polls.

Since Kobach has no power to place someone on the ballot unilaterally, he’ll need the cooperation of the courts to pull off this gambit, and the clock is not in his favor.

But if he succeeds, I suppose Democrats could just nominate Orman, but that would play into the GOP’s Plan C, which is use the bottomless resources the national party will make available to depict the independent candidate as a stooge–nay, a godless, socialistic stooge–of Barack Obama and Harry Reid. It will be a wild ride.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.