The Slatest

Pat Roberts Hangs On for Win in Kansas

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is still going to be U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts will hold on to his seat in an unexpectedly tight race in Kansas against independent Greg Orman. Roberts’ fourth term in office didn’t come easy in a state that traditionally is firmly on the Republican side of the ledger. Orman, a political newcomer, was able to tap into voter frustration with incumbents despite Roberts’ conservative bona fides. Roberts was hammered for spending too little time at home in the state and didn’t do himself any favors when he attempted to rebut that charge, saying: “Every time I get an opponent—I mean, a chance—I come home to Kansas.”

Democrats cleared the path for Orman to pick off Roberts in the unlikely battleground after their candidate dropped out of the race. Still, Roberts repeatedly attacked Orman as a potential vote for the Democrats in the Senate, even though Orman said he would back a Senate majority leader from either party. Vice President Biden didn’t help Orman’s independent street cred by suggesting he would caucus with Democrats if elected, during a radio interview on Tuesday.