WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts is in danger of losing his seat, whether or not his Democratic opponent remains on the ballot, a new poll finds.
The results of a survey released Tuesday by the Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, found independent candidate Greg Orman leading the three-term Republican, 41 percent to 34 percent.
Six percent of respondents said they would still vote for Democrat Chad Taylor, who dropped out of the race earlier this month.
Four percent of those polled said they would vote for libertarian Randall Batson, and 15 percent remain undecided.
In a head-to-head matchup between Roberts and Orman, the independent's lead rises to 46 percent to Roberts' 36 percent.
Roberts, 78, has an upside-down favorable rating, with just 29 percent saying they approved of his performance as senator, and 46 percent disapproving. Orman has a +18 net favorable rating.
Among Democrats, 58 percent say they plan to vote for Orman, while 16 percent say they still plan to vote for Taylor and 9 percent for Roberts. PPP found that, after telling respondents Taylor had dropped out of the race, 59 percent were aware he wished to be removed from the ballot and said they would vote for him anyway.
Taylor remains on the ballot, pending a hearing Tuesday in the Kansas Supreme Court. Taylor urged his fellow Democrats to support Orman, who has said he would caucus with whichever party is in the majority, but has previously run as a Democrat.
Independents also favor Orman, 45 percent compared to Roberts' 16 percent. And while 55 percent of Republicans back Roberts, a full third say they prefer Orman.
But state Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican, declared Taylor did not meet the state election law requiring he prove he was incapable of fulfilling the office in order to have his name removed from the ballot. Kobach says Taylor must name a reason, and even if his name is removed, Democrats must choose another candidate.
County officials must print ballots by Friday in order to comply with a state and federal deadline to begin sending ballots to military personnel overseas.
The PPP poll involved 1,238 likely Kansas voters between September 11 and September 14, conducted by automated phone calls. The other previous poll of the race, by SurveyUSA and released on September 8, found Orman and Roberts essentially tied, 37 to 36 percent.