By John Celock
A new poll shows the independent candidate for Kansas’ U.S. Senate seat up by five points.
A Rasmussen Reports poll released Thursday has independent Greg Orman at 49 percent with 44 percent indicating support for U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). The poll comes as Roberts starts a statewide bus tour of western Kansas.
The poll indicates that 90 percent of voters have indicated that they are “certain” to vote in this year’s election which features competitive races for governor and the U.S. Senate. Among those who said they are “certain” to vote, Orman leads 50 percent to 46 percent for Roberts.
The race between Orman and Roberts has featured both candidates ahead and in ties since Orman emerged as Roberts’ main challenger. Democrat Chad Taylor dropped out of the Senate contest last month. Roberts has painted Orman as the de facto Democratic nominee, saying that he would vote with Democrats in the Senate.
Orman has not indicated which party he will caucus with in the Senate but has said he would vote for neither Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) or Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for majority leader. Roberts has criticized Orman’s business practices and for fundraisers sponsored by Democrats in New York City.
Both Roberts and Orman have blanketed Kansas television with ads in recent weeks. Roberts has shaken up his campaign since his primary victory over tea party favorite Milton Wolf, bringing in GOP operatives from Washington to counter Orman’s rise.