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No Matter What Kobach Does To Save Sen. Roberts, Incumbent Is Still In Real Trouble

TPM's Josh Marshall doesn't believe Chad Taylor being forced to remain on the ballot in the Kansas Senate race will matter much and explains why.
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As we learned this Thursday, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced that the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Chad Taylor, must remain on the ballot and that Taylor is welcome to take the matter up in court if he disagrees with his decision, which he has vowed to do.

TPM's Josh Marshall shared his thoughts on why incumbent Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts is in trouble despite the best efforts of Kobach to save him.

Ballot, Shmallot ... Roberts Is in Much Bigger Trouble:

Democrats are going to fight to keep their former Kansas senate candidate, Chad Taylor, off the ballot (an odd turn of events to put it mildly). This comes after Kris Kobach, Secretary of State, announced that Taylor must stay on ballot. [...]

But here's the thing: I don't think it matters that much.

Obviously both sides can and will fight very hard to get their way. Because elections can come down to a tiny number of votes. And Taylor pulling even a single percent as a phantom candidate could make the difference. But if you look at the poll numbers that drove this decision, again, I don't think this is what this will come down to.

Several recent polls going back to mid-July drove this decision. But two in particular did it. One from mid-August from PPP: Roberts 32%, Taylor 25%, Orman 23% and a late August one from SurveyUSA: Roberts 37%, Taylor 32%, Orman 20%. A Rasmussen poll from a week earlier didn't given Orman as an option. And even in that case Roberts only topped Taylor by 4 points.

Now, given that Taylor is ahead of Orman you may be asking, why isn't Orman dropping out? The answer is Kansas.

The last time Kansas elected a Democrat to the Senate was 82 years ago. And it's happened only three times since Kansas entered the Union on the eve of the Civil War. Which, remember, is over a hundred and fifty friggin' years ago!

This is a record that is even more amazing than it appears to be on first glance. Because this isn't like saying a state has been liberal or conservative for ages. The GOP is actually a radically different party today than it was 60 years ago and it's a wildly different party than it was in 1860s. Kansas is just Republican almost regardless of what the GOP happens to stand for at any given point in history.

In other words, there's a huge amount of history running against Taylor, especially in a year where turnout models favor Republicans anyway. Another big, perhaps decisive factor: Taylor has no money. Orman has a lot of money - another reason why he's clearly the best chance to knock off Roberts.

But look at those polls. Roberts is a 34 year DC incumbent and he's basically begging to be thrown out of office. Read on...

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell and Steve Kornacki discussed some of the other snags the Democrats in Kansas may have with trying to get Taylor's name removed from the ballot, like whether or not they'll be forced to nominate another candidate to replace him if he is allowed to withdraw.


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