Using fear as his primary weapon in his re-election campaign, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts will return to Washington for a fourth term.
Kansans re-elected the cranky incumbent Tuesday night, as he trounced independent Greg Orman. The size of the victory was surprising, given that most polls gave Orman a chance to beat Roberts.
Instead, Roberts even beat Orman in Johnson County, which is supposed to be the home of savvy voters, aware of the dismal voting record of the Republican.
What a disappointment for good government, and for Kansans, overall.
Roberts built his victory by making strong appeals to the Republican base in Kansas. He pointed out over and over that a vote for him was a vote against the Obama agenda and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Roberts surrounded himself on the campaign trail with several well-known Republicans to help pound home this theme. The list started with Kansas’ still-popular former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and also included New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and tea party favorite Ted Cruz.
The three-term senator also constantly pointed out on the campaign trail that a Roberts victory would increase the likelihood that the GOP would take control of the Senate from Democrats. He made it a key point to contend that Orman would be just another vote for Democrats if elected.
With his return to Congress, Roberts likely will remain a staunchly negative vote on spending issues.
But he will have the opportunity to vote with fellow GOP senators to approve radical House-passed bills on a variety of issues, bills that likely will face Obama vetoes, guaranteeing more gridlock.
What a sad day for Kansans, who could have elected Orman to try to work through the hyper-partisan atmosphere that has poisoned the Capitol.