On the face of it, a court decision ordering a Democrat's name to be removed from the ballot in a Senate race of huge consequences wouldn't seem to be great news for the party. But it is indeed, thanks to the weird Kansas Senate race of 2014. The state's Supreme Court today ruled that Democrat Chad Taylor's name will not appear on the November ballot, reports Politico. That's just the way the party wanted it, because it means that incumbent Republican Pat Roberts will have to go one-on-one against independent candidate Greg Orman, and most polls show Orman in front or at least tied in a two-way race. The upshot is that today's court decision may make it easier for Democrats to keep control of the Senate.
"Without a Roberts re-election, Republican hopes of taking control of the US Senate in the midterm elections would drop dramatically," writes Dave Helling in the Kansas City Star. Taylor tried to drop out earlier this month, but Republican secretary of state Kris Kobach wouldn't allow it, citing a technicality in how he submitted his withdrawal application. The court today overruled Kobach's decision. One last twist: Orman has not said which party he would caucus with if he wins election, but things are so tight that whichever one he picks could end up with control as a result. "In other words," writes Peter Suderman at Reason, "it could be up to Orman, who six weeks ago was assumed to have no chance, to decide which party runs the Senate for the next two years."