A toss-up Senate race? Cook says yes, Silver no.

The showdown between Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat Dick Blumenthal has just gotten a  nudge into a high-profile class of U.S. Senate contest: the Toss-up.

The closely-watched Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan publication that tracks House and Senate races across the country, today moved the Connecticut race from its “lean Democratic” category to its “toss-up” rankings, a switch that could attract more national attention and interest  to this already hot contest.

The Cook Report’s Jennifer Duffy notes, in explaining the decision, that McMahon has made slow but steady progress in the polls, including the most recent Quinnipiac University survey which shows her just six points behind Blumenthal.

But political statistician and analyst Nate Silver, at NYT’s FiveThirtyEight blog, notes that both the Q-poll and a Rasmussen survey done at the same time show a small pool of undecided voters–no surprise, given Blumenthal’s long and well-publicized career and McMahon’s multi-million-dollar ad campaign. That suggests that there isn’t much room for McMahon to gain ground.

“Although the race is certainly close, its outcome is perhaps not all that uncertain,” Silver concludes.