Democrat Chad Taylor of Kansas is dropping out of his bid for the U.S. Senate, according to the Kansas City Star. Taylor, the district attorney in Shawnee County, thanked his supporters on Twitter:
Thanks to our supporters - financial, spiritual and emotional.
— Chad Taylor (@Taylor4USSenate) September 3, 2014
Taylor was challenging incumbent Republican Pat Roberts, but recent polls showed a strong third-party showing from independent candidate Greg Orman, a Kansas City-area businessman. Orman was polling nearly evenly with Taylor, and in a head-to-head match-up was shown to be beating Roberts. (Update: More than 70 Republican state legislators endorsed Orman over Roberts earlier Wednesday, before Taylor announced he was dropping out.)
It stands to reason that most of Taylor's supporters will shift to Orman rather than to Roberts, though that isn't a guarantee. Orman once considered challenging Roberts in 2008 as a Democrat, but during a recent appearance on MSNBC, the now-independent did not say which party he would caucus with if he were elected to the Senate.
Roberts, meanwhile, faced a tough primary challenge that appears to have left the veteran senator damaged heading into the general election.