Debate II Roberts Attacks, Orman Tries to Deflect, New Polls Have Roberts Leading
October 8, 2014

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, went on the offensive Wednesday during the second debate against Independent candidate Greg Orman.
The debate between the two attracted nation attention because control of the US Senate may be determined by who wins the Kansas seat, which Roberts has held for three terms, since 1996.
Just hours after the debate, a CNN poll of likely voters has Roberts with a 49-48% lead.
Another new poll, from Fox News, also showed Roberts with a 44-39% lead for Roberts.
Roberts repeatedly accused Orman of not being a true Independent candidate.
He pointed out that Orman briefly ran as a 2008 Democratic candidate for the Roberts Senate seat. He also noted that Orman has contributed to Democrats like President Obama, Senate Leader Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton and Kansas Democrats.
“It proves beyond doubt he is a liberal Democrat by word, deed and campaign donation,’ Roberts said.
Orman has also donated money to Republicans. But many of his donations to the GOP are not as recent as his democratic contributions.
Orman, did try to counter Roberts’ claim.
“I actually gave money to Scott Brown in Massachusetts in 2010 precisely because he was the vote that was supposed to prevent the affordable care act from becoming law,” Orman said.
Roberts also accused Orman of supporting Obamacare.
Orman denies that. .He has characterized the Affordable Health Care Act, often called “Obamacare”, as an extension of a broken health care system.
Roberts cited the President and Senator Reid in his charge.
“All said it would be the first step toward national health insurance We don’t want or need national health insurance. We need a system that is market driven,” he said.
Orman responded.
“I think any senator who stand up here and tells you he’s going to repeal the Affordable Care Act, is ignoring the reality that President Obama will simply veto the bill.”
Roberts repeatedly tried to tie Orman to the Democrats. He brought up President Obama’s name or Democratic Senate Leader Reid’s name more than 20 times during the 70 minute debate.
Roberts said the way to end Washington gridlock is the establish a GOP majority in the Senate.
The Republicans need to pick up 6 of the available seats in the mid-term election to accomplish that, providing they hold on the Kansas seat they’ve held since FDR was President.
Roberts said Orman won’t say which party he would side with if elected.
He ridiculed his stance as an Independent candidate.
“Who will he vote for. Or will he/or just hold up a little sign and say, ‘I’m present. I’m here’?
Orman he would try to join the caucus of the party that holds the majority. If he would happen to be the tie breaking vote to determine the majority, Orman said he would not vote for either Democratic leader Reid or Republican Senate Mitch McConnell.
“I think the people in the women’s caucus in the senate Lisa Murkowski, Heidi Heitkamp, have done great jobs of demonstrating a willingness to work in a bi-partisan way. And that’s who we would work with,” he said.
Murkowski is a Republican from Alaska. Heidtkamp is a Democrat from North Dakota.
Debate was sponsored by the Chambers of Commerce of Johnson County and the Johnson county Public policy Council.
It was not as raucous as the first debate at the Kansas state fair in early August.
At that debate, on an open-air stage, the crowd cheered and booed the candidates repeatedly. It had the atmosphere of a ballgame.
The two have a final debate set for later in the month in Wichita.

Race for the Senate has a Missouri Component
November 6, 2012

At the beginning of the year, the math looked grim for Senate Democrats. The party had to defend 23 of the 33 seats up for election, and more than a few of them in states that aren’t friendly to the national party.

Then came Richard Mourdock. And Todd Akin. And a few GOP retirements that put Republican-held seats in harm’s way.

As a result, Democrats are in a better position than anyone could have imagined on election eve — and poised to hold their Senate majority.

A likely outcome:

A more polarized Senate

It’s hard to believe, but it’s a very real possibility: The Senate could become even more polarized.

Democrats could elect a collection of liberals that makes progressive hearts flutter. Among them: Reps. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. In Ohio, Sen. Sherrod Brown leads in his reelection bid.

On the GOP side, Ted Cruz, a prominent conservative voice, is the all-but-certain next senator from Texas. He could be joined by Richard Mourdock, who outflanked GOP Sen. Dick Lugar in the primary to win the Indiana Republican Senate nomination, and Deb Fischer, a conservative state senator who has a slight edge over Bob Kerrey in Nebraska.

At the same time, the ideological center of the Senate continued to wither away this year with the loss of Lugar and the retirements of Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson, Maine GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe, Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman and Virginia Democratic Sen. Jim Webb.

The clock

By 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Timetime, polls will be closed in states hosting three of the most competitive Senate races in the nation: Indiana, Ohio and Virginia.

The races should give a good indication of the direction political winds are blowing. And if Republicans aren’t winning at least one of these, their chances of capturing the Senate are dim.

The Obama effect

President Barack Obama is likely to play a key role in determining which party wins the Senate majority, but his effect differs from state to state.

In red states such as Montana, Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota and Nebraska — not to mention West Virginia — the president is no asset. Democratic nominees are getting pounded for their ties to the president.

Who Gets the Blame for the GOP?

If Republicans fall short of winning a majority on Election Day, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.

With Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill poised for victory in Missouri and the possibility of a Democratic win in Indiana, it raises the prospect that the GOP will have all but given away four Senate seats — maybe even five — over the course of the past two election cycles by nominating unelectable candidates in seats that were ripe for the taking.

The reason, of course, is the inability to achieve an armistice in the ongoing primary wars between the party establishment and grass-roots conservatives.