Kansas’ Roberts now 4th on Roll Call’s endangered senators list

Senator Pat Roberts, Sept. 25, 2014 (Jaime Green/Wichita Eagle/MCT)
Senator Pat Roberts, Sept. 25, 2014 (Jaime Green/Wichita Eagle/MCT) MCT

Sen. Pat Roberts, the veteran Kansas lawmaker who suddenly faces a tough challenge to retain his seat, is the fourth most vulnerable senator seeking re-election, Roll Call said Wednesday in its new Senate rankings.

Roll Call’s Alexis Levinson and Kyle Trygstad put Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., as number one, followed by Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Mark Begich, R-Alaska, and then Roberts, who wasn’t on last month’s list.

“Roberts is struggling with questions about his residency and a sentiment that he’s already been in Washington too long,” they wrote. “He faces independent Greg Orman, a well-funded candidate whose disgust with both parties and the gridlock in Washington appears to be resonating with voters.”

The writers conceded that Roberts’ position could improve. He’s running in a state that last elected a Democrat to the Senatein 1932, a state that has strong Republican leanings.

The rest of the top 10: Sens. Mark Udall, D-Colo., Kay Hagan, D-N.C., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Al Franken, D-Minn.

Republicans need a net gain of six seats to win control of the Senate.