FRI brief 11.5.21
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The JUSTICE DEPARTMENT has sued Texas over its recently passed election integrity bill.
One reform the DOJ doesn’t want is voter ID on mail-in ballots. Again, Democrats have early and often told Americans how they steal elections in the past year, and they’re doing it again with this suit.
Voter ID is a wildly popular measure in Texas, even among minority and Democrat voters. This can be seen in 2019 polling from the Texas Lyceum project.
Another phenomenon seen in polling (in the past and now) is that sound measures contemplated in the legislature, often killed by bad polling, ought to be passed.
More on polling it the next section but the UT-Tribune polling on changes to the election code, though worded to get biased results, track fake news narrative volume throughout 2021. High ink leads to bad polling, less ink polling corrects.
In addition to keeping mail-in voting fraudulent, the suit appears to be aimed at allowing rogue local officials to have carte balance over election administration. This isn’t sound governance.
Texas has been plagued in the past year by progressive plants in major metropolitan counties making up rules as they go to aid Democrats.
The most significant impact of the DOJ’s suit, ultimately, might be to delay the 2022 primary. That happened in 2012, to the benefit of aspiring U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz (and other conservatives down-ballot).
If the Feds repeat their 2012 mistake, 2012 style primary results are well within reach.
The TEXAS TRIBUNE has begun to release results from its quarterly poll of Texas voters. While left-leaning, the Trib poll has been around for over a decade and uses consistent methodology. Thus, it’s useful for tracking trends in public opinion (subtract 3 to 5 points from whatever number they give Democrats).
Three major takeaways:
Greg Abbott weak
Bobby Francis O’Rourke weaker
Joe Biden weakest
For 2022, this suggests a highly volatile Republican primary followed by an R blowout in November. Of course, this ought to be evident to anyone who’s been watching Texas politics over the past six months.
The most critical number in the Trib poll is Joe Biden at 35%. This places Biden in a similar position to Barack Obama in October 2010 and 2014. Both cycles saw Republican candidates post statewide wins of approximately 20 points and corresponding gains down-ballot.
Barring a major outside event that resets public opinion in Democrats’ favor, there’s every reason to believe that 2022 will be a 2010/14 style GOP blowout. South Texas is the most likely location for down-ballot GOP gains.
Compounding the bad news for Democrats, Bobby Francis O’Rourke loses a hypothetical matchup with Greg Abbott by nine points. All this despite the incumbent’s (plentiful) baggage. The more Texans see of O’Rourke; the less they like him.
That’s not to say, however, that the Trib poll is good news for Greg Abbott. Far from it.
Most notably, Abbott’s 43% overall approval rating is far from intimidating, while his 56% at this point of the GOP primary is flat-out weak.
Abbott’s defenders might counter that his GOP primary number is fourteen points ahead of Rick Perry’s equivalent number at this point in 2009. It’s a fair point.
That said, Perry was running against an incumbent U.S. Senator with 100% name ID (who was first elected to office in 1972). Abbott, by contrast, is running against a former U.S. House member (from another state), a former state senator, and a podcast host.
Even at this early date, Allen West already has 13% of the vote, with Don Huffines at 7% and Chad Prather at 4%. The two well-monied candidates West and Huffines, haven’t started spending real money (though they should soon) on driving name ID. Abbott doesn’t have to fall much further to go below the 50% runoff threshold.
Otherwise, Ken Paxton is well-positioned in the race for Attorney General. George P. Bush is his only credible challenger, and that is barely so. Guzman and Krause barely register. A runoff between Paxton and Bush remains the most likely outcome, although Paxton might win outright.
GREG ABBOTT, meanwhile, isn’t helping his cause by talking out of both sides of his mouth over the possibility of a fourth special session.
It’s a bad look. By attempting to be all things to all people, Abbott comes across as mealy-mouthed.
Meanwhile, Jeff Leach is now calling for a fourth special. Leach’s position is noteworthy precisely because his lack of core convictions offers a strong indication of the direction in which the prevailing wind is blowing.
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