A friend asked me who I thought would win the governor’s race in Texas. We know who is going to win the governor’s race in Texas. We knew before Beto even entered the race. We knew Greg Abbott no matter what was said in any debate, any ad, or anything that might happen between then and election day.
Abbott has been governor for eight years. Forget a look at economic indicators, past news stories, or any number of gaffes that may have occurred over those eight years. Ignores the thousands of deaths during COVID. Ignore the dozens of deaths during the great freeze. Ignore the numerous children killed in school shootings. Think back to any of the Abbott ads on the radio or television. Have any of them touted anything he has actually done as governor? How sad is it for a guy to basically run on the platform of “my opponent is too extreme” when he’s been governor for eight years?
One particular ad had a woman who lost her son to murder. The murderer had been let out on bail by the judge. The Abbott campaign is using this as a reason not to vote for Beto. Huh? The governor doesn’t set bail and Beto hasn’t held elective office since running for Senate in 2018.
By any reasonable measure, Abbott has been a horrible governor and he is going to win re-election. Many around the state have given him the nickname Governor Death and he is going to win re-election. Dan Patrick has been a horrible lieutenant governor and he is going to win. Likeability doesn’t come into at all.
If you want any further proof then consider the case of Hershel Walker in Georgia. He is within the margin of error and he can’t find a coherent thought with a flashlight and road map. He actually flashed a toy badge on stage during the debate and said he was a cop. He paid off a girlfriend to get an abortion and tried to do it a second time and somehow claims to be pro-life. Yet, he could still win the Senate seat there.
It’s easy to blame gerrymandering and restrictive voter laws in these situations and that’s true to a certain extent. I’m sure that peels off five to ten percentage points and that can be enough in a number of races. However, we have to ask ourselves why that is enough when considering candidates like this. We have to ask why an attorney general that has been under indictment for his entire term will get another one. Would you hire a fire chief under indictment for arson?
Somewhere along the line we have to look inside and ask ourselves why a party that continually puts up smarter candidates with smarter policy ideas seem to lose to these dullards. These are policy ideas that a majority of the population support. There must be something else.
I personally think it is a combination of things. I think it’s a combination of really bad branding like “defund the police” and other catch phrases that just backfire. It’s also the relative ease of taking things like “wokeness” and weaponizing it against the left. Most people don’t honestly care about gay marriage, transsexuals, or other issues one way or another. They are just tired of being told they aren’t sensitive enough.
Cohesive communication isn’t easy, but the Republicans have managed to do it for decades. Break it all down and it’s incredibly stupid and it insults our collective intelligence but it is darn effective. You find something that resonates and you keep repeating it. That’s what we don’t do. We are everywhere. We talk about climate change, the wealth gap, equality issues, saving democracy, and helping out kids with college, health care, and gun control. I know I’m leaving stuff out. It’s time to find a cohesive message that works and stick to it.