One-time conservative columnist and self-described "wet Tory," Jennifer Rubin wrote Monday that Republican governors are already receiving a backlash that could upend their party's political prospects.
Rubin's latest column cited Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who won the Virginia race with just 50.6 percent of the vote in 2021. He now faces an approval rating of a mere 41 percent with 43 percent disapproval. Youngkin has been in office for a little over one month and has alienated many in the state by embracing Trump-friendly policies such as a total ban on mandatory masking in schools.
The same could be said about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has been forced to fight for his political life after a long list of disasters facing the state.
As Rubin explained, he "is losing ground in a general-election matchup against Beto O’Rourke. In January, O’Rourke trailed by 11 points; the gap is now down to seven points, according to a survey by the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, and 49 percent of Texans think the state is on the 'wrong track.'”
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"While the GOP is pushing to expunge any teaching of critical race theory in classrooms,” the Morning News reported, "59 percent of all Texas voters say they agree that K-12 teachers should be permitted to discuss how historical examples of discrimination in U.S. laws apply to racial inequalities today.”
Texans also don't want to see the so-called "wall" on the border. A 53 percent majority of voters think that it's wasteful spending.
Basically, Abbott crashed from 61 percent approval in April 2020 to 50 percent this month, Rubin noted. His disapproval is now at 46 percent. This comes at a time when Abbott also faces a challenge from right-wing candidates who are trying to paint him as not fully-Trump enough.
At a rally in Conroe, Texas, Abbott took the stage to boos from the pro-Trump audience. Abbott might have a Trump endorsement, but he's not garnering much Trump support, which is being divided among other far-right candidates like former Florida Rep. Allen West and ex-state Sen. Don Huffines.
"Yet," Rubin continued, "there is no drumbeat warning Republicans not to overreach. They seem to believe voters will ignore their excesses."
Rubin closed by saying that it might not be the best slogan, but she thinks Democrats should adopt the message: "At least we’re trying. The other guys are nuts."