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 says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could NBC, CNN to host first two Democratic presidential primary debates O'Rourke, Schumer huddle on possible 2020 bid: report MORE (D) in a tightening race with Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown For 2020, Democrats are lookin’ for somebody to love 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) TesterGOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration Border talks stall as another shutdown looms Mulvaney: Government shutdown on the table 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) ManchinSenate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general GOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate Senate poised to confirm Trump’s attorney general pick 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 CastroO'Rourke, Schumer huddle on possible 2020 bid: report Political world mourns Dingell, longest-serving member of Congress Some Texas Dems pushing O'Rourke to run for Senate again, not president 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.