Top Political Watcher Declares the O'Rourke-Cruz Race a 'Toss-Up'

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The Cook Political Report, one of the most-watched barometers for U.S. political races, has revised its take on Texas' red-hot senate contest.

After new polls showing Democratic contender Rep. Beto O'Rourke pulling neck-and-neck with Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, Cook on Friday updated its rating on the race from "leans Republican" to "toss-up."



The change reflects the enthusiasm O'Rourke has built among Democrats and independents, including out-of-state donors, Cook editor Jennifer E. Duffy writes. The El Paso congressman has also outraised Cruz so far and outspent him on television.

Even so, Real Clear Politics' amalgam of polls still puts Cruz ahead by 4.5 points. Republicans, after all, have shut Democrats out of Texas' statewide races for more than two decades now.



"O’Rourke has earned this rating, but getting the last couple of points to overtake Cruz and win the seat will be difficult though not utterly impossible," Duffy writes.

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