AP Pat Roberts talks to supporters during a campaign stop with Sen. John McCain last week.
A few weeks after the national Republican Party moved in to revamp the campaign and begin an ad blitz aimed at saving incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts' job, a new poll shows him facing more of an uphill battle than ever against independent businessman Greg Orman.
The poll, from NBC News and Marist College, finds Orman leading Roberts 48-38 among likely voters. The NBC/Marist survey is better news for Orman than other recent polls, which have shown him with significant but less substantial single-digit leads.
The battle for control of the US Senate is coming down to six or seven crucial states — Colorado, Iowa, Alaska, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Kansas — and Kansas serves as the potential wild card. Roberts survived a primary challenge from a Tea Party candidate, but Orman has presented an even more daunting battle.
Roberts is viewed in a highly unfavorable light by Kansans. Just 37% of those surveyed in the poll said they view him favorably, compared with 47% who view him in an unfavorable light. Those respective numbers are 46-26 for Orman.
"He’s in a great deal of trouble out there," Marist pollster Lee Miringoff said of Roberts. "He’s got high negatives, his intensity of support is low, he’s losing independents by more than two to one. His to-do list is rather large in the remaining time before Election Day."
In the other closely watched race in Kansas, incumbent Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is down a single point to his Democratic challenger, state Rep. Paul Davis (44-43).
According to the NBC/Marist poll, Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan maintains a slight lead over Republican challenger Thom Tillis (44-40) in North Carolina. In Iowa, Republican Joni Ernst leads Democratic candidate Bruce Braley 44-42, which puts Braley in better shape than other surveys that have shown him down as much as six points.
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