Cook Report puts Fischer, Cruz on ‘watch list’ as farmers fret over Trump | TheFencePost.com

Cook Report puts Fischer, Cruz on ‘watch list’ as farmers fret over Trump

The Cook Political Report has put Republican Sens. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Ted Cruz of Texas on a "watch list," meaning that the likelihood of their winning re-election has gone down.

Jennifer Duffy, the Cook senior editor in charge of Senate races, told The Hagstrom Report that both Fischer and Cruz are still favored to win and she still lists their races as "likely Republican" victories, but their campaigns for re-election are not going as well as expected while farmers are concerned that President Donald Trump's trade policies may hurt them.

Duffy also said she believes the views of farmers on Trump's policies are "the most uncovered" subject about the elections in the general media this year.

Jennifer Duffy, the Cook senior editor in charge of Senate races, told The Hagstrom Report that both Fischer and Cruz are still favored to win and she still lists their races as "likely Republican" victories, but their campaigns for re-election are not going as well as expected while farmers are concerned that President Donald Trump's trade policies may hurt them.

Duffy also said she believes the views of farmers on Trump's policies are "the most uncovered" subject about the elections in the general media this year.

Duffy also described Jane Raybould, a Lincoln city councilwoman who is running against Fischer, as "a decent opponent, a business-oriented Democrat."

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Cruz, Duffy said, has to deal with the fact that his opponent, Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke, has been traveling around the state into usually Republican territory to widen his appeal beyond his El Paso district. O'Rourke has also proven to be a formidable fundraiser.

Cruz started out with a negative relationship with Texas farmers due to his criticism of farm programs, but has traveled to West Texas to learn about farming. But this year he has also led the fight for the oil industry to reduce the price of the renewable identification numbers (RINS), which back the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Opposing the RFS is a popular view in some parts of Texas, but not with farmers who fear that a decline in the use of corn for ethanol will lead to lower prices.

Kevin Williamson, a Texas writer, noted in The Wall Street Journal last weekend that polls show O'Rourke only three points behind Cruz, and that Texas cities which vote Democratic are growing.

Republican candidates like Cruz, he said, need to learn how to talk to the 88 percent of Texans who already live in urban areas.