WICHITA, Kansas — In a race that is now virtually tied, what may be essential to acquiring a large group of undecided voters in the race for U.S. Senate is successfully sending the right message.
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said they would vote for Chad Taylor, despite the fact that about 7 in 10 likely voters in Kansas are aware that he has withdrawn from the race.
Eleven percent of likely voters polled remain undecided.
The margin of error is +/- 4.2 percent.
At the Kansas State Fair this weekend in Hutchinson, Sen. Roberts had his first chance to distinguish himself from Independent challenger, Greg Orman.
Referring to Orman, Sen. Roberts said, “First he says he’s a Republican. Then, he says he’s a Democrat. Just this year, he becomes an Independent. Ladies and Gentlemen, what will Greg Orman be next year?”
Orman chose instead to focus on the issues he believes Kansans care about.
“I believe we can have affordable and high quality health care,” said Orman. “I believe we can have secure borders and a humane immigration policy.”
KSN Political Analyst, Jeff Jarman, says that in this race, the key to coming out on top may very well reside with the undecided voter population which has increased five percent in only two weeks. The last KSN News Poll, released August 26, showed 6 percent of likely voters were undecided. To date, 11 percent of likely voters polled are now undecided in the U.S. Senate race.
Jeff Jarman told KSN that if he hopes to retain his seat on the U.S. Senate floor, it is crucial for Sen. Roberts to set himself apart now that Democrat Chad Taylor has withdrawn from the race.
“This is a real surprise in this race. I think that if you had asked people six months ago whether Pat Roberts was going to be in trouble for re-election, I think the answer would have been ‘no,'” said Jarman.
For Greg Orman, the Independent in the race, Jarman says Orman has to find a way to stay in the middle, in hopes of staying the course, after gaining so much in the polls.
“We’re just now getting the dynamics of this campaign. We’ll have to see how these candidates play on the fact that there are just two of them in the race right now,” explained Jarman.
After the U.S. Senate debate held this weekend at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, Jarman says that Sen. Roberts did a good job of staying on message, while he says Orman will have to refine his message a bit to go after Republicans who may have been voting for Chad Taylor.
Chad Taylor’s name, however, remains on the ballot for now.