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Most states find themselves dealing with a fairly simple senate race.   A Republican on one side, a Democrat on the other.   If you are in Mississippi, you may face down three candidates, depending on how hard Chris McDaniels decides to fight.  

Kansas, though, is about to wade into strange territory: a four way race for the US Senate.  

This week, Dr. Milton Wolf, the tea party candidate tended to his bus tour and implied that he isn't so sure he can 'surrender' as his followers put it depending on the primary.

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Dr. Milton Wolf (R-KS) is rising rapidly in his bid to unseat the incumbent Senator Pat Roberts. This race offers the last chance for a conservative to unseat a complacent Republican before the midterm elections.

A new survey shows that Roberts has fallen a staggering 21 points since the last poll three weeks earlier. Let me repeat - in three weeks, Roberts has fallen 21 points!

The GOP establishment is now stepping in, just like they did in Mississippi, to wage an air-wave war against Dr. Wolf. Put simply - the National Republican Party does not want Dr. Wolf elected. The GOP is afraid Dr. Wolf’s heartfelt and bold conservatism will upset the status quo. They are right.

Dr. Wolf is going to be more than a vote in the Senate – he will be a powerful voice for smaller government and liberty, like Ted Cruz and Mark Lee.

And the Kansas Republican Primary is now becoming a big money affair, we're anticipating around a $2M spend before we reach the August 5 voting deadline.   That leaves us three candidates:   Milton Wolf (Tea Party/Write In), Chad Taylor (Democrat), and Pat Roberts (Republican).  

Kansas, however, has a fourth - an independent candidate that is prepared to make a lot of waves over the next few weeks.  And that is where things get interesting.

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Most independent campaigns are foolish, low money affairs.   Tell that to Greg Orman, who's running as an independent in Kansas.   By the time FEC filing registered in the last quarter, Orman was so far ahead of most other candidates in Kansas it was mind boggling.   Reporting 600k plus in the Cash on Hand category, Orman looks to bring real teeth to bear in Kansas in his fight for an independent to win the US Senate.

Greg Orman, the independent candidate for U.S. Senate in Kansas, hit a major milestone on Wednesday by reaching the $600,000 mark in individual campaign contributions. This total does not include any PAC money (his campaign is not accepting any PAC money) or personal contributions from Mr. Orman.

This is an important milestone because it is showing the growing vitality and viability of independent campaigns in Kansas and nationwide.

“This is a remarkable fundraising effort for an independent candidate in such a short period of time. Greg’s message of fixing the mess in Washington through common-sense problem solving is clearly resonating with voters,” Orman’s campaign manager said.

http://ivn.us/...

It would be one thing to say that Orman is funding this off of serious PAC support, but nope, Orman is rejecting all PAC funds.   What complicates the matter more is the status of the race and who's involved.   While Pat Roberts has a significant war chest - with around $1.5M on hand (though a big part of that is going to battle Milton Wolf), Democrat Chad Taylor lags far behind the field with.. yep, $10,000 cash on hand.  In a media blitz war, there is only one candidate outside of Pat Roberts who has the serious money and funding to take to the airwaves.

And take to the airwaves Orman has.

But rolling out a slick media campaign would be one thing, after all an independent has a hard road to hoe.   Most people reach back to their party loyalty and will vote (D) or (R) in the fall..

The Kansas race is complicated though.   Chad Taylor, outside of having no funds to take to the airwaves has expressed (in the past) his personal 'anti-choice' viewpoint, however he has issued statements which say only 'I trust Kansas women' and 'It is the ruling of the court'.  Not much of a ringing endorsement.   Taylor faces other problems campaign wise that are leading many Kansas Progressive groups to take a shot on an independent in the fall.

This has led outside and independent groups like Women for Kansas (http://womenforkansas.org/) to change their backing and get behind Orman - who currently sits at about 17% in the poll, not enough to take lead from Roberts or pass Taylor, but based on his ad spend and fund raising it appears as though what Orman lacks is name ID.

Could an independent win in Kansas?   Normally I'd say no.   Then again, could a democrat candidate without the women's vote win in Kansas?  I'd also normally say no to that.  

But in a four way divided race it is hard to know exactly what will happen.  No one can be sure of the end results.

Kansas last attempt at an independent candidate occurred in 1992, when Christina Campbell-Cline ran as an independent and pulled in 4% of the vote.   Christina Campbell-Cline though didn't have a Princeton degree, a successful major employer business and a warchest of $600,000 to spend in a general only election by early August.

I have absolutely  no idea how this will all shake out.   But one thing is for certain, the flurry of recent endorsements heading to Greg Orman, likely a sign that many progressive groups view the fundraising efforts of the Taylor campaign to be unsolvable at this point in the race are far more likely to grow as time goes on.

With a tea partier saying he isn't sure if he will drop out, and a Democrat who can't take to the airwaves Kansas might be facing a major race between a Tea Party, a Republican and an Independent.. and no one will have any idea who the real 'spoiler' is.

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