In the tight Kansas senatorial race pitting independent challenger Greg Orman against GOP incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts, the insurgent is working hard to emphasize his autonomy while Republicans say that if he wins he'll likely caucus with the Democrats, according to Politico
Orman characterizes his independent Senate campaign as "the number one threat to the status quo" in Washington. Should he win, though, he will need to make a partisan choice — caucusing with one party or another in order to carry influence in the Senate.
Orman says that "what's most important in Washington is that we start solving problems" and that the race "is about the voters of Kansas sending a message to the politicians of Washington," Politico reported.
If the Senate is evenly divided, Orman could move between the parties bargaining to get the best deal for Kansas.
"If we are in a position where neither party has the majority, then I think it's a great opportunity to ensure that whoever's in the majority only stays there as long as they're solving problems for the people of America and the people of Kansas," he said, Politico reported.
Roberts and his Republican allies insist that were Orman elected he'd align with the Democrats. They have tied Orman to President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The incumbent acknowledges that Orman has, nevertheless, "tapped into the frustration" voters feel toward Washington lawmakers, according to Politico.
"We are relying on the independence and intelligence of the Kansas voters. I think that's what's going to count on Tuesday," says Orman.
The song "Stuck in the Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel, heard at a recent Orman rally, captures the message he wants to put out: "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am," according to Politico.
Pollster David Beattie says his polling shows Orman holding a "narrow lead," Politico reported. RealClearPolitics
reports the race may be heading to a photo finish.
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