Cook Political Report moves Texas Senate race to ‘toss-up’

The Cook Political Report on Friday updated its rating for Texas's heated Senate race, moving it from "leans Republican" to "toss-up" amid new polls showing Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeBiden, Sanders lead field in Iowa poll Pollster says likely Dem 2020 nominee has not emerged in national conversation yet O'Rourke doubles support in CNN poll of Dem presidential race MORE (D) in a tightening race with Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden, Sanders lead field in Iowa poll The Memo: Cohen fans flames around Trump Biden team discussed 2020 run with O'Rourke as VP: report MORE (R).

The change in rating Friday came amid two other Senate race changes, with the prediction website changing the race for Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate votes to overturn IRS guidance limiting donor disclosure Senate confirms Trump's pick to be deputy Treasury secretary O’Rourke is fireball, but not all Dems are sold MORE's (D-Mont.) seat from "likely" to "leans" Democratic, while the West Virginia Senate race moved from "toss-up" to leaning in favor of incumbent Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force Hillicon Valley — Presented by AT&T — New momentum for privacy legislation | YouTube purges spam videos | Apple plans B Austin campus | Iranian hackers targeted Treasury officials | FEC to let lawmakers use campaign funds for cyber Manchin puts hold on FCC nomination over wireless internet fund delay MORE (D).

Cook's authors did not immediately give any explanation for the ratings change, but the move follows a series of polls showing Cruz with a small single-digit lead over his insurgent opponent, who has outraised Cruz by millions since the campaign began.

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A survey by left-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling found Cruz with just a 3-point lead over his opponent on Thursday among registered Texas voters. A Reuters–Ipsos poll the day before found O'Rourke with a 2-point lead.

“There’s a possibility it could happen. I’m not saying probable. But it’s possible,” Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, told Reuters of O'Rourke's chances in the Reuter's poll release Wednesday.

An average of polls of the Texas Senate race produced by RealClearPolitics shows Cruz with a 4.5-point lead over O'Rourke.

O'Rourke is set to hit the campaign trail with Texas Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroDem: CBP chief knew of migrant girl’s death before testimony but failed to mention it Dems demand probe into death of 7-year-old in DHS custody DeGette dropped from chief deputy whip spot MORE (D) and his brother, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, according to a press release, following polls that showed him with an insufficient lead over Cruz among Hispanic voters.

The two Senate candidates are scheduled for their first debate on Friday.