The Buzz

Orman gets boost without Democrat on ballot

An average of statewide polls conducted in Kansas shows that independent U.S. Senate candidate Greg Orman receives about a 7-point boost if no Democrat is listed on the ballot.

Whether a Democrat will be listed is the subject of a court case now under consideration by a three-judge Shawnee County District Court panel.

Democrat Chad Taylor has withdrawn from the race. The question now is whether the Kansas Democratic Party has to replace him.

Democratic leaders appear content to allow for no candidate as a way to boost Orman’s prospects in his bid to defeat three-term incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts.

Insight Kansas, a group of Kansas political scientists, is offering a new service that compiles polling information and produces averages of those polls. The idea is to give Kansans a sense of where each statewide race stands.

The average showed that Orman leads Roberts by about 1 point if Taylor remains on the ballot. Orman leads by about 8 points if Taylor is off the ballot.

Washburn University political scientist Bob Beatty predicts that the judges will not require Democrats to list a candidate.

A ruling is expected Tuesday or Wednesday.