There are a lot of 2014 Senate campaigns that deserve praise, including Republican Cory Gardner’s defeat of Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado, and Sen. Mitch McConnell’s 15-point victory over Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky. There is one race, though, that should be singled out for a number of reasons, and that is GOP Sen. Pat Roberts’ campaign in Kansas – at least the 2.0 version of the Roberts campaign.
Republican strategists were not comfortable with where Roberts was heading into Labor Day. He was ahead in a three-way field, but not by much and he was under 40 percent. The incumbent faced an independent candidate with deep pockets and a compelling message that highlighted the dysfunction in Washington. There was a growing sense that perhaps the Roberts campaign thought that winning their contested primary equated to winning the general election, and thus weren’t running an aggressive campaign against businessman Greg Orman, the independent candidate, or Democratic nominee Chad Taylor.
It took some convincing, but Roberts finally agreed bring in strategist Chris LaCivita and give him
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