Democrat Beto O'Rourke is creeping up on Sen. Ted Cruz in the latest Texas Senate polls, but most race watchers say Cruz should win and help Republicans hold the House when people vote in the midterm elections next week.
The media-friendly O'Rourke has posed a bigger challenge than most expected for Cruz in red-state Texas, and on Monday, a new Quinnipiac poll was released that had Cruz up just 5 points.
Flipping Texas would significantly boost the chances of Democrats taking back the Senate, but as of Tuesday, major polling outfits still gave Republicans the benefit of the doubt.
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RealClearPolitics has Cruz as a slight favorite in Texas, and said Reps. Kevin Cramer and Marsha Blackburn were edging out their Democratic opponents in North Dakota and Tennessee. If the races go that way, Republicans would have 50 seats, and then would vie for six tossup races in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and Nevada.
FiveThirtyEight also gives Cruz the nod in Texas, and only has Missouri and Nevada as tossups. That site gives the GOP an 82 percent chance of holding onto the Senate.
The Cook Political Report officially has Cruz in the tossup category, but still sees Cruz coming out with a narrow victory.
"Our sense is that this is a close race, but Cruz retains the advantage going into the final stretch," Cook analyst Jennifer Duffy wrote Friday.
According to Duffy, the Senate still appears to be safe for Republicans because after an expected loss by Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Democrats would have to win 5 tossup races for seats they now hold, and then win three out of four tossup seats now held by Republicans.
"That’s just not a realistic scenario," she wrote.