MON brief 7.27.20

Bonnen, Abbott's menace

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DENNIS BONNEN should not be a thing in 2020, and to the extent that he is going forward, Greg Abbott will be kicking himself for not purging the scoundrel when he had the chance.

Since COVID19 hit, Bonnen has been a fixture next to Governor Abbott at press conferences and been made available to the media for comment.

Now, less than 100 days out from the election, the lame-duck Speaker is ineffectively lashing out at Democrats. This weekend Bonnen took shots at Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton), an exotic bird shop keeper, amateur erosion enthusiast, and member of the Texas House.

Luckily for the Texas GOP, the Democrats appear hapless when it comes to weaponizing GOP weaknesses and, like the GOP, fail to cut deadweight (see: Poncho Nevarez).

MIND THE GAP, the enthusiasm gap.

In November 2016, 53% of Trump voters and 45% of Clinton voters were very enthusiastic about their respective candidates.

Compare this to 2020.

A USA TODAY/ Suffolk Poll released on June 30 showed 50% of Trump voters to 27% of Biden voters as enthusiastic.

YouGov in June had this gap at 68% to 31%.

And a newly released Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey, pegged 42% of Trump supporters as excited heading into the election, while 31% of Biden supporters said the same.

Differences in these figures, especially more recent polls with narrowing margins, are down to question phrasing and sample, but there's a consistent theme, Trump voters in 2020 are resiliently enthusiastic.

After three years of media distortions and derision directed at both Trump and by the transitive property, voters who elected him it's startling that enthusiasm remains this high and the disparity between the major party contenders so great.

The other part of this equation is how bad enthusiasm is for the Democrats. Hillary, a dislikable candidate in her own right, outperforms Biden. Like the GOP in 2012, the 2020 Democrats may have chosen a uniquely disqualified individual to challenge Trump.

Liberals say Republicans are self-soothing by highlighting this enthusiasm deficit. Maybe.

But, these same liberals, without the benefit of comparing Biden to Clinton, claim the national polling margins mean the enthusiasm gap is irrelevant. Nope.

Also, an unserious take, mashing up the two metrics (enthusiasm for and disapproval of) to come up with a win for Biden in the enthusiasm race seems greedy and nervous if, as was the case in 2016, the election was a foregone conclusion.

Related: Michigan swing voters question Biden's ability to lead

ALLEN WEST, the new Texas GOP chairman, doesn't agree with the statewide mask mandate. Instead, he believes the focus should be on protecting vulnerable populations.

Related: Coronavirus numbers in Texas improving

Hit the links

North Texas judge killed by a wrong-way drunk driver

Biden campaign 'suppressing the Hispanic vote' in Florida

Councilman Calls for 'Thorough Investigation' Into Marxist Documents

The homicide rate in Austin up 70% this year

Bexar Co. GOP chair refuses to certify election

Hundreds clash over the removal of Confederate statue in Parker County

Conservatives blast Supreme Court ruling: Roberts' abandoned his oath.'

Marijuana licensing woes dog Missouri's governor

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