Issue #342

Kansas election: GOP scrambles to save Pat Roberts

Roberts is in serious trouble against his independent opponent, polls show.

Roberts is in serious trouble against his independent opponent, polls show.

The GOP’s political machine is kicking into overdrive to save a Senate seat in Kansas that’s suddenly complicating its path to the majority. With polls showing Sen. Pat Roberts in serious trouble against independent Greg Orman, top Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, are leaning on big-ticket donors to fill the long-time Kansas senator’s campaign coffers. Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona are planning to barnstorm the state on Roberts’ behalf. And in a bid to boost the senator’s sagging poll numbers, the Roberts campaign is planning an ad blitz to cast his long record and seniority in Washington in a more positive light. Republicans are also poring over Orman’s record, looking for ways to cast him as a liberal and shady businessman out to enrich himself. Local stories are popping up about a lawsuit against Orman by the boxing equipment manufacturer Everlast and a legal fight the candidate had with legendary actress Debbie Reynolds over a $1 million loan he made to her Hollywood museum. Politico, 9-10-14.