KANSAS
     Nov. 4, 2014 U.S. Senate                                      

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+Pat Roberts (R)
460,350
53.15%
Greg Orman (I)
368,372
42.53%
Randall Batson (L) 37,469
4.33%

866,191

Plurality: 91,978 votes (10.62 percentage points).
 KS Secretary of State




Notes: 
Sen. Pat Roberts (R) was elected to a fourth term with the help of a late infusion of resources from national Republicans. 

Trouble for Roberts began in Feb. 2014, when the New York Times reported he did not have a house in Kansas but stayed with donors.  Several Kansans charged that Roberts did not meet the residency requirement, but on May 12 the State Objections Board rejected the claim.  Meanwhile, however, Roberts had endured months of unfavorable coverage.  In the Aug. 5 primary Roberts obtained less than 50-percent of the vote, defeating Tea Party-aligned Milton Wolf, a radiologist, by 127,089 (48.0%) to 107,799 (40.7%) and the remainder to D.J. Smith and Alvin Zahnter.  In the Democratic primary Chad Taylor, District Attorney of Shawnee County, won, defeating Patrick Wiesner by 35,067 (53.2%) to 30,752 (46.7%).  In addition Greg Orman, a businessman from Olathe announced his candidacy as an independent at the end of June 2014, and Randall Batson, a Navy veteran from Wichita, was the Libertarian nominee.

The race took an unexpected turn on Sept. 3—the deadline for withdrawal—when Taylor announced "[a]fter much consideration and prolonged discussion with my supporters, my staff, and party leadership at every level" that he was ending his campaign.  Secretary of State Chris Kobach responded that Taylor had not met the statutory requirements and his name would remain on the ballot.  Taylor sued, and on Sept. 18 the Supreme Court of Kansas ruled his withdrawal was in order and his name should not appear on the ballot (>).  Kobach also sought to force the Kansas Democrats to name a replacement but that proved unsuccessful, setting up what was effectively a two-person race between Roberts and Orman.

Roberts' campaign had been led by his long-time confidant Leroy Towns, but in early September the NRSC sent in outside help in the form of nationally experienced operatives Chris LaCivita and Corry Bliss to run the campaign for the closing two months.  Over the succeeding weeks there were many news reports on what the Washington Post termed the GOP's "Kansas rescue mission." The Roberts campaign and ouside groups unleashed a flood of attack ads targeting Orman, while high-profile figures such as Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney made visits to support Roberts. 

Roberts and Orman debated on Sept. 6 at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson (>); on Oct. 8 at the Kansas Convention Center in Overland Park (>); and on Oct 15 at KSN-TV studios in Wichita (>). 

Orman
described himself as a fiscally responsible businessman and said he had "tried both parties and like a lot of Kansans been disappointed."  He argued that "both parties are more interested in playing political games than problem solving and both parties are failing Kansas."  Roberts presented himself as "someone you know who has worked and fought with you, who has won key battles, someone who has earned your trust."  Further, he said, "A vote for Greg Orman is a vote to hand over the future of Kansas and the country to Harry Reid and Barack Obama."

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Roberts campaign spent $8.1 million and the Orman campaign $5.7 million, on top of which there was $17.4 million in outside spending.  Top outside spenders were Committee to Elect an Independent Senate ($3.9 million) and Mayday PAC ($1.4 million) supporting Orman and Freedom Partners Action Fund ($3.1 million) and Ending Spending Action Fund ($1.5 million) supporting Roberts.



Campaign Managers
Pat Roberts: 
Corry Bliss
(early Sept. 2014)  Campaign manager on Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel's campaign in the May 2014 U.S. Senate primary.  Campaign manager on Linda McMahon's second run for U.S. Senate in Connecticut in 2012.  Campaign manager on Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie's run for governor of Vermont in 2010.  Campaign manager on U.S. Rep. Thelma Drake's (VA) unsuccessful re-election in 2008.  J.D. from CUNY School of Law, 2006; undergraduate degree from Boston University.

Greg Orman: 
Jim Jonas
(Mar. 2014)  Public affairs consultant with JKJ Partners in Denver from Jan. 2011.  Co-founder/partner and senior strategist at Peak Creative in Denver, June 2000-Dec. 2013.  Director of marketing and communications for the University of Colorado Foundation, Mar. 2011-May 2012.  Employee communications for US West, Jan. 1998-Apr. 2000.  Political media and communications consultant at Jim Jonas Media, Jan. 1995-Mar. 1997.  Communications strategist for Lamar Alexander in the lead-up to his 1996 presidential campaign, Jan. 1993-Feb. 1995.  Writer/producer with Ailes Communications, Jan. 1991-Jan. 1993.  M.P.A. from The Graduate School of Political Management at GWU, 1991; bachelor's degree in political science and government from Guilford College, 1988.


See also:
"Lacking a House, a Senator is Renewing His Ties in Kansas."  New York Times, Feb. 8, 2014.

Dylan Matthews.  "Kansas Senate candidate Greg Orman is 2014's most cynical politician."  Vox, Oct. 3, 2014.

Andrea Drusch and National Journal.  "Inside Chris LaCivita's Plan to Save Pat Roberts."  The Atlantic.  Oct. 23, 2014.

  




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