The incumbent Kansas Republican senator trails his independent challenger Greg Orman, who leads him 47 percent to 40 percent, according to a Human Events/Gravis poll of 850 likely registered voters taken Sept. 30 to Oct. 1.

Greg Orman, the independent running with the support of the Kansas Democrats has a good lead over Sen. C. Patrick “Pat” Roberts but his support has not crossed over the 50 percent mark, said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based firm that conducted the poll. The poll has a margin of error of 3 percent.

“The conventional wisdom is that the undecided break for the challenger, so if that happens Orman could break 60 percent,” Kaplan said.

Roberts, who was born the same year Kansan Republican Alf Landon lost to Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, running for his second term in the White House, defeated his conservative opponent in the GOP primary Dr. Milton Wolf with the support of the National Republican Senate Committee. NRSC staffers were sent to Kansas to help defeat Wolf, an opponent to Obamacare not in line with GOP leaders, who have fully funded the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act up to and including the most recent continuing resolution.

Kaplan said this year the GOP need six seats to take control of the Senate.

“Democrats are defending 21 of the 36 Senate seats up for grabs this year,” he said. “With only 15 seats to defend, the Republicans have a built in advantage.”

The GOP advantage is a product of the disastrous year Republican Senate candidates had in 2008, he said. It is not because of anything positive they did.

“It was an amazing example of long-term planning if they did it on purpose,” he said.

“Because Roberts is one of the only Republican seats up for grabs, it is interesting to see that the Democrats are willing to divert resources from defending one of their 21 seats to support an independent with a serious shot to take away a GOP seat,” he said.

Kaplan said in the governor’s race, the news is not good for Republican Gov. Samuel D. Brownback, who trails his Democratic challenger attorney Paul Davis with 40 percent to 48 percent of respondents supporting Davis.

In other questions, asked about the 2016 race for the White House, Kansas voters prefer Sen. Randal H. “Rand” Paul (R.-Ky.) over former first lady Hillary R. Clinton, 48 percent for Paul and 38 percent for Clinton.

Only 15 percent of Kansans support the federal government bringing illegal aliens from the Mexican border into Kansas with 63 percent opposed.