3rd party candidates could tip key Senate races

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Third-party candidates rarely win Senate races, but they could play significant roles in several key races this year.

And one of them has already helped drive the Democratic nominee from the Senate race in Kansas.

Many third-party candidates are libertarians. Libertarians tend to attract conservative voters who otherwise might lean Republican. That's a concern to Republicans in Kentucky, North Carolina and a few other states.

However, a non-mainstream candidate is causing headaches for a Democratic senator in Louisiana.

In Kansas, Democratic nominee Chad Taylor left the race after seeing independent candidate Greg Orman attract more money. Republicans worry that Orman may be able to consolidate opposition to three-term GOP Sen. Pat Roberts.

But veteran campaigners note that third-party candidates often win only minuscule slivers of the vote.

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