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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'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeO’Rourke faces pivotal point in Texas battle with Cruz Cruz says he's willing to participate in debate with O'Rourke on CNN Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms MORE (D) in a tightening race with Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzNoisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Democrats hold fading odds of winning Senate this November Donald Trump Jr. emerges as GOP fundraising force 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) TesterTrump adds campaign stops for Senate candidates in Montana, Arizona, Nevada Democrats hold fading odds of winning Senate this November Senate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees 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) ManchinGillibrand backs Manchin, Bredesen despite their support of Kavanaugh Senate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees Overnight Energy: Climate skeptic confirmed as DOJ environmental lawyer | EPA to phase out air pollution panel | Ad campaign targets mercury rule proposal 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 CastroSteve King: Julian and Joaquin Castro learned Spanish to ‘qualify as retroactive Hispanics’ Hispanic Dems want answers on detention of immigrant minors Cook Political Report moves Texas Senate race to ‘toss-up’ 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.