After weeks of polling showing independent Greg Orman leading the Kansas race for U.S. Senate, two surveys released Wednesday show better news for embattled Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas).
Fox's previous poll in the race, conducted in September before Democrat Chad Taylor's name was ordered removed from the ballot, had Orman leading Roberts by 6 points. The earlier poll asked voters to choose between Orman and Roberts, while the more recent survey also included libertarian Randall Batson and an "other" option, making comparisons somewhat tricky.
Democratic support for Orman dropped 10 points in the latest Fox poll, with 12 percent saying they'd support libertarian Randall Batson or another candidate. Independents' support of Orman dropped 23 points, while their support for Roberts rose 12 points, with 9 percent preferring a third candidate. Republicans also moved slightly toward Roberts.
Data on the Kansas Senate race is something of a mixed bag. Of the eight most recent surveys, five show Orman up by 5 points or more, one has Roberts leading, and two find the race nearly tied. Beyond the usual variation in campaign polling, there are signs that the state's electorate is unusually fluid, with voters more likely to be undecided. Both the CNN and Fox polls found that 21 percent of voters said they might change their minds before the election.
HuffPost Pollster's polling model currently finds the race a tossup, with Orman and Roberts equally likely to win.
CNN polled 687 likely voters between Oct. 2 and Oct. 6, while Fox News surveyed 702 likely voters between Oct. 4. and Oct. 7. Both used live interviewers to reach landlines and cell phones.