Cook Political Report Shifts Three Senate Races In Favor Of Democrats

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Andrew Trunsky Political Reporter
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The nonpartisan Cook Political Report shifted predictions on three Senate races towards Democrats Tuesday with just three weeks remaining until Election Day.

The shifts in predictions for Alaska, Texas and Georgia Senate races reflect Democrats’ increasing momentum going into Election Day, raising concerns from Republicans about the increasing chance of electoral defeats up and down the ballot, according to Cook.

In Alaska, Cook moved the race between GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan and Independent challenger Al Gross from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican,” citing both Sullivan and President Donald Trump’s narrowing lead across the state. Gross, whose ads have focused on his own Alaskan upbringing in and protecting Alaskans’ health care, has raised $9 million, Cook reported, prompting Republicans to invest in the state as well. (RELATED: ‘A Blue Tsunami’: Cook Political Report Updates Its 2020 Map)

An October Alaska Survey Research poll shows Sullivan leading Gross by four points, down from 17 in July.

Cook moved Texas’s race between GOP Sen. John Cornyn and Democratic challenger M.J. Hegar from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican” as well, citing Hegar’s strong fundraising and rise in statewide polls.

Hegar, a former Air Force pilot, raised $13.5 million in the 3rd quarter of 2020, and has been outspending Cornyn in recent weeks, according to CPR. Like the state’s senatorial race, the polls have tightened in the presidential race as well, with Trump leading Democratic nominee Joe Biden by just over one point, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Cook moved Georgia’s special senatorial election from “lean Republican” to tossup, joining the state’s other senatorial race as well. Unlike the regular Georgia election between GOP Sen. David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, the special Georgia election features numerous candidates vying to fill the remainder of former Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term.

The special election’s primary is on Nov. 3, and if no candidate clears 50%, the top two will advance to a runoff in early January. Though any of the candidates could finish top two, the only three with a realistic chance are appointed GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler, GOP Rep. Doug Collins, and Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock.

Though Warnock trailed both candidates throughout the summer, raising fears among Democrats that the likely runoff would be between two Republicans, he started rising in the polls in August, and has benefitted from strong fundraising and an endorsement from President Barack Obama, polls show.

One internal poll showed Warnock leading the field by 17 points, meaning that Loeffler and Collins may be left fighting for the final spot in January’s runoff.

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