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Rafael Hits The Panic Button As Cook Political Report Moves Texas Senate Race To ‘Toss-Up’

Sen. Rafael Theodore Cruz (Ted) is scrambling to contain the tectonic blue shift threatening his political future after the Cook Political Report updated its rating for Texas’s heated Senate race, moving it from “leans Republican” to “toss-up” amid new polls showing Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) gaining ground in the polls.

The change in rating Friday 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.

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 released Wednesday.

O’Rourke is set to hit the campaign trail with Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro (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.

An average of polls of the Texas Senate race produced by RealClearPolitics shows Cruz with a 4.5-point lead over O’Rourke.

The two Senate candidates are scheduled for their first debate on Friday.

The development came amid two other Senate race changes, with the prediction website changing the race for Sen. Jon Tester’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 Manchin (D).

RELATED: New Poll Shows O’Rourke Ahead Of Cruz As Midterms Approach.

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