A Thursday night court decision knocking Democrat Chad Taylor off the Kansas Senate ballot may boost independent Greg Orman's campaign to unseat Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).
Taylor announced this month he was dropping out of the race, but the Republican secretary of state, Kris Kobach, sought to keep his name on the ballot, saying Taylor's letter of withdrawal didn't comply with state election law. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of Taylor, who challenged Kobach's decision.
While there's scant polling on the race, two surveys taken before the court decision suggest the bulk of Taylor's remaining supporters are likely to turn toward Orman.
A Fox News poll found Orman 2 points behind Roberts, with Taylor and libertarian Randall Batson on the ballot, and gave Orman a 6-point lead, 48 percent to 42 percent, in a head-to-head against Roberts. Without Taylor on the ballot, Orman took 81 percent of the Democratic vote, 68 percent of the independent vote, and 21 percent of the Republican vote.
A second survey, from the Democratic pollster PPP, gave Orman a 7-point lead over Roberts with Taylor and Batson on the ballot, and a 10-point lead in a matchup against just Roberts.
Orman said he would caucus with the majority party if elected, but hasn't said what he'll do if control of the Senate hinges on his choice of party.
HuffPost Pollster's Senate model currently finds an 11 percent chance that Orman could get to decide which party holds the Senate majority next year.