Taylor Drops Out Of Kansas Senate Race, Opening Door For Orman

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In a surprise move, Democratic nominee Chad Taylor dropped out of the Kansas Senate race on Wednesday, setting up a one-on-one matchup between Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and independent candidate Greg Orman.

Taylor told the Wichita Eagle that the 11th hour decision came after prolonged discussions with supporters, staff, and party leadership at every level.

"I have great love for the state of Kansas and the people that live here," said Taylor, the district attorney for Shawnee County. "I will continue work in their best interest every day, but effective today, my campaign is terminated."

The move could consolidate the anti-Roberts vote behind Orman, who has not said which party he will caucus with if elected.

Recent polls have suggested that Roberts is vulnerable after a tough fight against conservative challenger Milton Wolf in the Republican primary.

A Public Policy Polling survey released last month even showed Orman with a 43 percent to 33 percent lead over Roberts in a potential one-on-one matchup.

Orman released a statement describing Taylor's decision as an "unexpected turn of events," while the Roberts campaign claimed the move is proof of a "corrupt bargain" between Orman and national Democrats.

Taylor's decision could have a significant impact on which party controls the Senate following the November elections, as it raises questions about what had previously been seen as a safe Republican seat.

Republicans need to pick up a net six seats to retake control of the Senate, and losing the Kansas seat would potentially be a major blow to their goal.

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