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 on Texas reopening: 'Dangerous, dumb and weak' Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House O'Rourke slams Texas official who suggested grandparents risk their lives for economy during pandemic MORE (D) in a tightening race with Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzState Department scrutiny threatens Pompeo's political ambitions 125 lawmakers urge Trump administration to support National Guard troops amid pandemic Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House 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) TesterThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Memorial Day during COVID-19: How to aid our country's veterans Senate votes to reauthorize intel programs with added legal protections 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) ManchinStakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December Congress headed toward unemployment showdown 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 CastroMinority lawmakers gain unprecedented clout amid pandemic The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden leads Trump by 6 points in new poll Warren announces slate of endorsements including Wendy Davis and Cornyn challenger Hegar 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.