Kansas poll: Orman opens up lead on Roberts

Story highlights

  • A new poll finds independent Greg Orman has a 10-point lead against Republican Pat Roberts.
  • The survey also gave Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan a four-point lead in the tight N.C. race.
  • And in Iowa, polling from the same group puts the Iowa Senate race at a dead heat.
The Kansas Senate seat that Republicans have controlled for the past 80 years looks like it could be in trouble, a new poll finds.
Independent candidate Greg Orman now has a 10-point lead in his campaign to unseat three-term incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts, according to a NBC News/Marist poll released Sunday. The survey of 636 likely Kansas voters has Orman with 48 percent of the vote to Roberts' 38 percent of the vote, outside of the poll's 3.9 percentage point margin of error.
That represents a five- to 10-point gain for the independent candidate, with polling over the last month judging the race anywhere from a dead heat to a five-point advantage for Orman.
The latest poll, which was conducted between Sept. 27 and Oct. 1, comes after a push from national Republicans to bolster Roberts with several Washington campaign operatives, who have helped develop a new, more direct campaign strategy: painting Orman as a Democrat in disguise.
Sen. fate in hands of Kansas Independent
Sen. fate in hands of Kansas Independent

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GOP Sen. Roberts ties Orman to Obama
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Democrats have placed their bets on an Orman victory, going so far as to pull their own nominee from the race to give Orman a better shot at unseating Roberts.
And while Orman hasn't said which party he will caucus with if he makes it to Congress, Roberts' campaign has done more than suggest Orman will join forces with Democrats, even calling Orman "Obama's candidate for Senate" in a recent ad.
NBC News/Marist polling released Sunday also gave Democratic Senator Kay Hagan an edge over her Republican rival Thom Tillis, a good sign for Democrats in a toss-up state that could be crucial to determining the balance of the Senate. Hagan leads with 44 percent of the vote to Tillis' 40 percent, but within the polls' 3.8 percentage point margin of error.
And in the neck-in-neck Iowa Senate contest, NBC News/Marist polling reports that the race is still a statistical dead heat, with Ernst leading by two points but within the 3.5 percentage point margin of error. Ernst has 46 percent of the vote, according to the poll, to Braley's 44 percent of the vote.