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CNN projects Moore defeats Taff

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KANSAS CITY, Kansas (CNN) -- Democratic Rep. Dennis Moore defeated Republican Adam Taff, a former Navy pilot, CNN projected.

The tone of Taff's challenge to Moore was set the day he hired Joe Gaylord. The chief strategist for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and a key architect of the 1994 GOP House takeover, Gaylord is known to win races by relying heavily on negative campaign tactics.

Moore, a former prosecutor, was expected to benefit from a sharp GOP rift created during Republicans' notoriously bitter primaries here. Taff, a social conservative, narrowly won a bruising August primary against Jeff Colyer, a moderate who had been endorsed by National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Davis of Virginia.

But a NRCC poll conducted just after Taff won the primary showed Moore leading but falling well below 50 percent -- a potentially dangerous sign for an incumbent.

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