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Matthew Dowd: This is how Democrats beat a sagging Texas Governor Greg Abbott & failed Republica

3 min read

Former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd and new Texan is working hard to elect Democrats. He gives a recipe to defeat Greg Abbott.

Matthew Dowd on messaging values versus policy

See full episodes here.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is in political trouble, according to current polls.

Gov. Greg Abbott had the lowest approval rating since February 2016 and his highest disapproval numbers during his tenure as governor, The Texas Politics Project’s August polling found.

The poll queried 1,200 registered voters in Texas, finding that 50 percent disapproved of Abbott’s job performance and 41 percent approved. Nine percent didn’t know or did not have an opinion, the lowest such number of Abbott’s time in office. The margin of error was 2.83 percent, and the poll was conducted from Aug. 20 through Monday, Aug. 30.

Matthew Dowd points out that the governor is vulnerable.

“He is exceedingly, in my view, vulnerable,” Dowd said. “But he has to be vulnerable to the right candidate with the right message and a good campaign. And this is where I have a tendency sometimes to get frustrated with Democrats who I'm advocating for who need to win every office they possibly can, especially here in Texas because it's the only way to save our population and save our republic is to do that.”

Matthew Dowd then got into an important deficiency Democrats have got to work itself out of sooner rather than later.

“The problem is Democrats often seed the messaging ground to Republicans,” Dowd said. “And what Democrats have a tendency to do is talk policy points, and process and Republicans talk values. And in a debate like that, voters ultimately vote based on values. They want to have policies they're concerned about, those things. But they want to know that you share the same values. Democrats have to start talking about all these issues, choice, COVID, all of these issues in a broad value context.”

Dowd then made an important point that Democrats need to lean into as they tell the truth about the GOP.

“They should not cede the ground of pro-life,” Dowd said. Republicans are not pro-life. They won't do anything about gun deaths. They won't do anything about COVID. They won't do anything about healthcare. They won't even expand Medicaid here where 90 of the costs would be borne by the federal government. … Democrats have to get much much much much better, even Progressives, on this having a values-based argument about what the Republicans are doing are disconnected from American values and disconnected from the values us and a majority of us in Texas believe in.”

He hit the nail on the head. We have a lot of work to do, but it is very doable.


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