Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts held on to his seat against independent Greg Orman on Tuesday, November 4.
Exit poll demographics showed that Orman clearly won the independent and liberal votes, and equally lost the conservative vote. Orman won the younger vote, while Roberts won the 44 and older vote. Orman was slightly more popular with women than Roberts.
This race came down to the urban/rural divide in Kansas. Orman performed well in the urban counties, while Roberts swept the mostly rural counties. The three counties Orman won are urban, typically Democratic strongholds.
The two most populous counties, Sedgwick and Johnson (Orman’s home county), went to Roberts, but with a much narrower margin than the rest of the state.
Funding at least partially played a role — the better-funded candidate wins 91 percent of the time. Roberts entered the home stretch of the campaign with over three times the funding that Orman had raised. The independent candidate, however, did significantly better than any non-major party candidate has done in a statewide race in modern state history.
Image Source: NBC News