Ted Cruz, Beto O’Rourke Race Labeled A ‘Toss Up’ Ahead Of First Debate

'Cook Political Report' released on Friday sets up a tense race ahead of debate later tonight.

Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke meets supporters
Chris Covatta / Getty Images

'Cook Political Report' released on Friday sets up a tense race ahead of debate later tonight.

The race for the Texas Senate seat continues to tighten, with Newsweek reporting that a poll released by the Cook Political Report has labeled Texas a toss-up in its senate forecast on Friday.

Incumbent Republican Ted Cruz and Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke have seen several polls disagreeing on who will win but almost all universally agreeing that the race will be tight. On Friday, one of the most significant pollsters, the Cook Political Report, labeled the race a “toss-up” indicating that it is not clear who will win the race.

The news follows on from a poll from the University of Virginia Center for Politics which had O’Rourke ahead of Cruz by two percentage points at 47-45 according to the Inquisitr yesterday.

The Cook Political Report has steadily increased O’Rourke’s chances of winning the race in a state that has been considered solidly Republican for several decades. After initially listing the race as “likely Republican” in July, Cook lowered its rating to “lean Republican” in August, now shifting the state to “toss-up.”

Holding that rating puts Texas in a category held by more purple states such as Florida, Nevada, Missouri, and Nevada, something that the Democratic Party in Texas would not have expected prior to this race.

Despite O’Rourke closing the gap on Cruz, and in the case of Virginia beating him, there has yet to be a Senate forecast that puts the Texas Senate seat on the Democratic side of the ledger. Even the Virginia poll, which had O’Rourke winning, refused to go as far as pushing the seat to lean Democrat going against its poll result to declare the seat “lean Republican,” ignoring that the Republican candidate was actually behind in its own poll.

The Cook Political Report contained lots of good news for Democrats, shifting several seats toward the blue side of the ledger. Montana, held by Democrat Joe Testor, switched from “lean” to “likely Democrat” while Joe Manchin’s seat in West Virginia has moved from “toss-up” to “lean Democrat.”

While the move from Cook is good news for O’Rourke, there is still plenty for him to do to win the election and become Texas’ first Democratic senator since Bob Krueger in 1993. So far the Virginia poll is the only poll that has him winning with margins as high as nine reported in some independent polls.

Friday will be a big day for the race as Cruz and O’Rourke meet for the first debate this evening in Dallas.