On Friday, September the 30th, Governor Greg Abbott and challenger Beto O’Rourke sparred in the first, and most likely only, gubernatorial debate.

Abbott announces the reopening of more Texas businesses
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 There were no dramatic “you’re no Jack Kennedy” moments and both candidates cleaved closely to their talking points and established positions.

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But, would anybody have seen it even if there had been fireworks during the debate? As Texas Monthly points out, for the past couple of decades governor’s debates seem almost DESIGNED NOT to attract viewers.

Beto O'Rourke And Texas AFL-CIO Hold Voting Rights Rally At State Capitol
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T.M. points out that in the past twelve years three out of four gubernatorial debates have been held on a Friday night. During football season. IN TEXAS!  Also, the debate took place in an empty auditorium.  Beto said that the “no audience” was one of Abbott’s stipulations to have the debate.  Then, the moderators teed up for Abbott by opening the debate on the border security topic, widely seen as one of Abbott’s strong suits.

So…who won the debate? Election expert Leland Vettert on NewsNation compared it to a boxing match.

According to Vittert, there were no knock-outs or even knock-downs. The “fight” (continuing the boxing analogy) went the distance. Beto MAY have one by a point or two on the judges’ scorecards. But, that constitutes a “win” for Greg Abbott.  The most recent polling has Governor Abbott leading Beto by about 8 points.

So, with no big, jaw-dropping moment in the one and only debate, this probably bodes well for Abbott. 8 points, even with a margin of error of two issues that’s STILL enough for Abbott to cruise to victory in November.

It would have been nice if we’d had at least one more debate, preferably NOT scheduled on High School football night in the Lone Star state. But, alas, that was another condition from the Abbott camp…just the one debate.

Hey, it could be worse. In 2010, then-Governor Rick Perry just refused to participate in ANY debate. I guess he was saving all of his gaffes for his presidential runs in 2012 and 2016. Remember this gem?

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