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Cook Political Report Changes Three Senate Races, Including Texas

Cook Political Report Changes Three Senate Races, Including Texas

Democrats may keep their seats in Montana and West Virginia

The Cook Political Report changed its ratings in three Senate races, including Texas. The map still tends to favor the GOP keeping its majority, but it’s looking like incumbent Democrats Joe Tester from Montana and Joe Manchin from West Virginia will keep their seats.

However, incumbent Republican Ted Cruz from Texas is in slight trouble as his race now has the label Toss-Up.

Ted Cruz

Texas is a red state, which makes the change to Toss-Up a confusing one. Poll after poll changes. One minute Cruz has the lead and the next his Democrat opponent Robert O’Rourke grabs it. From The Cook Political Report:

GOP U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t terribly popular, and while that might not necessarily be a problem is a red state, Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke and his message have generated a great deal of enthusiasm among Democrats and independents, as well as Democratic donors across the country who have filled his campaign war chest. At this point, he has outraised Cruz and outspent him on television. A Toss Up rating makes both parties nervous: Republicans for obvious reasons and Democrats because it creates an expectation that they will start spending money on the race. For that matter, Republicans aren’t anxious to spend money in such an expensive state either. The Club for Growth is investing in the race on Cruz’s behalf, but O’Rourke has campaigned against PAC money and outside spending so having the party swoop in with millions in television advertising might well be counterproductive. 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.

A Quinnipiac University poll from September 18 had Cruz over O’Rourke 54 to 45. 1% of those who responded remain undecided.

Then a day later, a poll from Ispos, Reuters, and the University of Virginia had O’Rourke ahead, 47 to 45. Only 3% said other and 5% said none. From Texas Tribune:

Ipsos is trying to gauge political enthusiasm on each side, said Jackson. The poll asked respondents to estimate the likelihood that they’d vote in the midterm elections on a scale from one to 10. “More Democrats are registering at the highest part of the scale, at the 10, than the Republicans,” Jackson said. And that’s what’s interesting, he said, because Republicans usually have the momentum advantage in Texas.

“It demonstrates how Democrats are mobilized,” said Jackson. “This election is going to be really competitive and its going be very hard fought.”

Healthcare and immigration were the issues that Texas voters valued most, according to the poll, but it’s “very lopsided,” Jackson said. Republican respondents cared most about immigration and Democrats cared most about healthcare with very little overlap.

Jon Tester

I said back in July that Montana intrigues me because of the electoral swings in the state. President Donald Trump won the state by 20 points in November 2016, but the state also elected a Democrat governor that month. From The Cook Political Report:

Tester is running a very strong campaign that highlights his accomplishments in the Senate on behalf of Montana voters. He stresses the pieces of legislation he has sponsored that President Trump has signed into law, as well as his Montana-centric independence. Republican state Auditor Matt Rosendale appears to be holding his own, despite a constant barrage of attacks from Democrats who have defined him as a heartless real estate developer from Maryland who owns a “trophy ranch.” While Trump is a big asset to Rosendale, the presence of a Libertarian candidate on the ballot may well prevent him from overtaking Tester; Libertarian candidates often cost Republicans elections here.

Recent polls show the men in a dead heat. A CBS News poll from last week has Tester up 47 to 45. RealClearPolitics has Tester with a 4.3% lead, but you have to remember that he had an 8 point lead in June.

Joe Manchin

Manchin entered the race as the most vulnerable incumbent. The Cook Political Report had his race as a Toss Up the whole time, but that has changed to Lean Democrat:

Having served two terms as Governor, voters know Manchin and Republicans have had trouble selling the message that Washington has changed him. It has helped that GOP state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey isn’t the strongest candidate that the party could have nominated. Democrats have successfully tagged him as a former lobbyist from New Jersey who is beholden to the pharmaceutical industry. Some Republican strategists maintain that there is still a path to victory for Morrisey, but it is narrow. For now, Manchin’s lead appears to be in the high single digits. If the race closes, it will move back to Toss Up.

The latest polls have Manchin in a semi-comfortable lead. Research America found Manchin up by 8 points over Morrisey earlier this month. A MetroNews Dominion West Virginia Poll at the end of August came to the same conclusion:

The poll that was released Friday showed Manchin, the Democrat who has served in the Senate since 2010, with a 46 percent to 38 percent edge on the Republican Morrisey.

Another 16 percent of likely voters said they still aren’t sure.

“Morrisey is behind by about 8 percentage points, but if you look at the voters most interested in the election, that lead shrinks,” said pollster Rex Repass, who constructed the questions for the West Virginia Poll. “Morrisey could have more of an advantage in the intensity factor or the enthusiasm factor.”


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blue wave.. a nothing-burger… look at the recent ‘likely voters’… little or small interest in college, youth, minority groups…

2nd Ammendment Mother | September 24, 2018 at 1:14 pm

Out here in flyover country, I just don’t see the Cruz vs O’Rourke being as close as outsiders are trying to make it…. everything I’m reading from insiders on the Dem side says O’Rourke has to turn out 1 million new voters and Hispanics have to turn out at 60% – current turnout for a Presidential is 30%.

theduchessofkitty | September 24, 2018 at 1:37 pm

Texans support the Police.

Beto called police “the new Jim Crow.” That doesn’t pass muster here.

Texans are tired of uncontrolled illegal immigration.

Beto says to open the gates wide, inviting anarchy to our state. Sorry, but that doesn’t pass muster here.

    He’s never said that. Those are the words of the wing nuts. I hear it from Cruz too, he will lie his ass off to stay in power. Tx ranks about 25th in wages for the working class and we still have millions of Texans w/o health insurance. He sticks to cream puff non-controversial issues. When he filibustered against the ACA he had the well of the senate to himself, he could have used that time to lay out the “Replacement” which he touts so much, but no what we hear is “Green Eggs & Ham”. He is a buffoonish character and is in no way helping the very people who elected him and to those who voted for him; you got what you deserve.

    He’s never said that. Those are the words of the wing nuts. I hear it from Cruz too, he will lie his ass off to stay in power. Tx ranks about 25th in wages for the working class and we still have millions of Texans w/o health insurance. He sticks to cream puff non-controversial issues. When he filibustered against the ACA he had the well of the senate to himself, he could have used that time to lay out the “Replacement” which he touts so much, but no what we hear is “Green Eggs & Ham”. He is a buffoonish character and is in no way helping the very people who elected him and to those who voted for him; you got what you deserve.

The Texas poll has to be ignoring the already built in sizable lead Cruz has in terms of voters. The number of people of voted for Cruz in the primaries far exceeds Beto numbers. It’s inconceivable to believe those voters won’t show or suddenly vote Democrat.

I’ll wait for the only poll that matters on November 6.

OleDirtyBarrister | September 24, 2018 at 2:17 pm

Ted will stomp the O’Rourke on election day, even though he may not be as popular as he once was due to the POTUS campaign and convention mistake. When it is over, the marxist media will shift the focus and discuss how many more Democrats voted against Cruz than previously and that it clearly signals a blue trend.

Last week, a Republican won a state Senate district in Texas around the San Antonio area that had been Democrat for 139 years. You won’t see the national infotainment complex discussing that one.

    Colonel Travis in reply to OleDirtyBarrister. | September 24, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    I commented about this yesterday, forgive me if you saw it, but I wouldn’t look at that race as predictive.

    1.) It was a special election. Turnout is incredibly low for special elections, lower than May elections. Flores ran for this seat in 2016 but lost. The winner in 2016 got 130,000+ votes. Flores won 2018 and got 13,000 votes. That’s another way of saying that no one showed up to the polls.

    2.) The (D) had to vacate the seat because he was charged with crimes that are now sending him to jail. Corruption like that doesn’t motivate the political party of the one going to jail.

    If Flores can win in 2020, that will tell you his win in 2018 was not a fluke. Otherwise, take it for what it is: one (R) seat for the next legislative session, which may or may not depress (D) voters this fall.

Then a day later, a poll from Ispos, Reuters, and the University of Virginia had O’Rourke ahead, 47 to 45. Only 3% said other and 5% said none. From Texas Tribune:

Bull Crap. They’re using two TOTALLY different methodologies: Quinnipiac University was a phone interview, while Ipsos was an “online” poll (like those can’t be manipulated). Also, the online version favors a younger demographic, which is unlikely to turn out on election day.

The MOE was ~marginally~ better in the Ipsos online poll, but without seeing the methodology, it’s a push-poll that’s worse than entirely useless.

Hillary has a 93 % chance of falling down drunk by 3 pm election day , about an hr earlier than every other day .

The hip young iPhone latinas have been captured by the old guard Leninist-Maoists. I know it to be fact. I was recently at two left wing public events – lbgqt bbq and a park trash cleanup. Historically white leftist events. At least 25% of the people there were latinas girls sitting at picnic benches with their heads bobbed texting, chatting at friends and laughing. Some of them were with their parents – pop wearing the button up casual farmer shirts, pressed jeans and cowboy boots and mom in a nice summer dress. Those folks were supposed to vote republican – George Bush said so.

The Marxists are crafty. Free burgers, chips, chili verde pork, tortilla, coffee, bagels, choco chip cookies. No booze. And notabley? No agitprop, slogans or voter reg. tables. No gay flag. The intent? Create social groups first – then later – the politics.

The odd part? very few young hispanic men.

Republicans? Never seen a free meal tied to a community event in my life not tied to a church event and preaching.

    Tiki in reply to Tiki. | September 24, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    You know what doesn’t pass muster with young voters? Dry, logical rhetoric steeped in unsweetened constitutional conservatism. BORING!
    People will turnout for free coffee and lunch. The Marxists used it in the ’20’s . Free beer and loose women appealed to young males. Now its premium coffee and a social circle for the girls (sewing bee.)

      forksdad in reply to Tiki. | September 24, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      It’s as if There was a reason to restrict the franchise. Now we find that everybody can vote and half of everyone are idiots. We need to strictly restrict the franchise if we ever intend to have anything like a constitutional republic again.

      bhwms in reply to Tiki. | September 25, 2018 at 11:17 am

      If you feed them, they will come.

It’s just a one day disappointment for the Dems who are sending the DNC their money to support Beto (he’s going to win – send money!!) and they get the bonus of making it look like his radical socialist ideals are so mainstream, that he’s taking on the popular Ted Cruz. And if you don’t buy that most people want to abolish ICE so we can bring up indentured servants to run our cotton gins, then you can think that Cruz is sooooo unpopular that he’s actually losing to Beto.

Beto’s going to get creamed. You won’t hear his name again once 48 hours passes.

    2nd Ammendment Mother in reply to elle. | September 24, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    I can’t believe someone isn’t ripping Beta a new one on the Roscoe Texas Cotton Gin comments…..This one is completely ripe for mockery of Beta’s understanding of basic economics. Roscoe Texas is in a group of small towns that sit at ground zero of the Permian Basin Oil Field. The median hourly wage in that area right now is $30 an hour for unskilled rough labor…. my son who is a pipe fitter has been offered upwards of $100 an hour, housing & meals paid, full benefits and a company vehicle. Fast food workers are getting upwards of $20 an hour… skilled waitstaff can pick up a $1000 on a week night in tips. The schools can’t keep teachers and staff because they’re getting better pay and working conditions in the private sector. And now for the dirty secret….. illegals don’t need farm work either because if they can get there, they can get hired – in an economy that overheated, there are lots of employers that will risk paying cash under the table.

Tester isn’t “likely to win”.
Cook moved his race from likely Dem to lean Dem. That means he’s LESS likely to win, not MORE likely.

All three of the recent polls show Cruz up by about 8 points.
The one showing him behind 2 had a sample of 47% Dem – 43% Rep, which is about 10 points off the current Texas demographic split How do I know? Because that same poll showed Abbott up 10 on his non-entity opponent when every other poll has him up close to 20 points. The 3rd poll showing Cruz +3 was registered, not likely, voters. So add 5 to Cruz’ lead for that one.

Cook Political “Report”

LOL, here is there 2016 scorecard:

I wouldn’t put much faith in communist polling outfits.

    bhwms in reply to Barry. | September 25, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Back in the early 90’s, the Cook Report was a must read. Since about 2000, they have taken a sharp turn to “meh” status.

The state of polling is all f’ed up.
We won’t know the actual numbers until election day.

4th armored div | September 24, 2018 at 7:05 pm

the senate vote for Kav will tell the story.

fox has interview of Kav mr& mrs
if these Ds vote against him they are toast

These are same polls that had Hillary Clinton in a landslide.

Just think of all of these polls as “voter suppression”

Up until the night of November 8th, 2016, the polls kept telling us that there was a 0% chance of a Trump victory.
So excuse me if I see “meh” when the pollsters give their opinions.

Gallup poll released today should strike fear, due to the trendlines, of Obama Dims:

Republican Party Favorability Highest in Seven Years

Republican favorability at 45%, Democrats at 44%
Democrats generally have had the upper hand in favorability ratings
Major gains for Republican Party within the party, including leaners

Forty-five percent of Americans now have a favorable view of the Republican Party, a nine-point gain from last September’s 36%. It is the party’s most positive image since it registered 47% in January 2011, shortly after taking control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections. Forty-four percent give the Democratic Party a favorable rating. [snip]

Two other major subgroups that tend to be more Republican than the overall population — men and those living in middle-income households — have become more likely to view the Republican Party favorably in the past year. [snip]

Bottom Line
For the Republican Party, less than two months away from an election that could see them lose control of both the House and the Senate, gains in public favorability are a welcome sign. The party has been wallowing in favorable ratings below 40% for most of the last five years after rarely sinking that low in the previous two decades.

No matter how much or how little party favorability affects elections, the fact that Republicans are more likely to view their party favorably than a year ago can be considered a positive indicator for the party, particularly if a more positive image boosts Republican turnout.

Although Republicans’ approval of a Congress controlled by their party remains low, Republicans apparently hold similarly positive perceptions of their party as they do of President Trump (81% favorable in this same poll).
This poll taken in the midst of an unprecedented lunatic series of attacks against President Trump and the GOP demonstrates that the Blue Wave supposition will not materialize. Thus far President Trump has been getting hit. Now President Trump, just before the elections, is up at bat.

Check the latest from Gallup?

It’s ALL bad news for the D’s.

Cook is a known liberal. His predictions always skew left this early, corrects a little just prior to Election Day so post election analysis show him in the ballpark.

And, the MSM bias gets worse every year as more and more on the Right just absolutely refuse to talk to them (even when they aren’t cooking a push poll they still haven’t figured how to compensate for this). The media HATES us and we know it. Get a call from a pollster and you hear “NBC” or “CNN” and what do you do? Click!!

Gallup, and read through all the details, and compares to Gallup’s same poll with same methodology one year ago. Pretty shocking improvement.

PersonofInterests | September 25, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Cook had Hillary winning bigly until a couple of weeks before Election Day 2016 and then only as a possibility that Donald Trump would win; PROBABLY STILL BELIEVES HIS POLLS FROM OCTOBER 2016.

This is the obedient Media and their Pollsters trying to convince us to not waste our time to vote.


Speaker of the House: Dementia afflicted Nancy Pelosi
Chairman of the Finance Committee: “Mad Maxine” Waters
Chairman of the Intelligence Committee: Adam Schiff[head]
Chairman of Oversight and Government Reform: Elijah “Milk Dud” Cummings

Frightening, right??

Mary I will be back here to shove the bogus Democrat Cook Report right up where the sun doesn’t shine when it is all over. I get tired of your stupid articles based on Cook who NEVER gets it right and ALWYS predicts Democrat victory EVEN in 2010 and 2014 and don’t forget 2016.