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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'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke considering Texas governor bid: report O'Rourke clarifies remarks, leaves door open to gubernatorial bid O'Rourke says he's not planning on run for Texas governor MORE (D) in a tightening race with Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Ted Cruz says critical race theory is as racist as 'Klansmen in white sheets' Pentagon pulling 'certain forces and capabilities,' including air defenses, from Middle East 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) TesterCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle On The Money: Sanders: Democrats considering trillion spending package | Weekly jobless claims rise for first time since April 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 ManchinJoe ManchinThe Memo: The center strikes back Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack 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 CastroTexas walkout sets up epic battle over voting rights Democrats call on Blinken to set new sexual misconduct policies at State Department USAID 'redirects' El Salvador funds from government to civil society 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.