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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Race to the top between Abbott and DeSantis is a race to the death for Texas and Florida as delta surges.

In his mostly softball interview last month with Gov. Greg Abbott, conservative radio host Mark Davis landed one question that had to have stung a little even if Abbott didn’t let on.

“Have you had it up to your eyeballs,” he asked Abbott, with people who say “‘well, I like Abbott, but he’s like Ron DeSantis four weeks later?’”

Abbott pointed out how he and the Florida governor are friends who work well together.

“We have a bigger agenda,” Abbott said. “And that is to make sure that we make the United States of America more Republican.”

Their agenda appears even bigger, and more personal, than that. With both being mentioned as presidential contenders in 2024, they seem to be engaged in a high-stakes, if friendly, tug-of-war for the affections of Trump loyalists, who are among the most hesitant, or openly hostile, toward COVID precautions such as vaccines and mask requirements.

Davis mentioned how Abbott opened up Texas a bit later than DeSantis did Florida. And Abbott is constantly under fire from his primary challengers about how he held the economy hostage last year with his “tyrannical” pandemic-related restrictions aimed at savings lives. Now Abbott is side by side with DeSantis on blocking local governments and school districts from requiring masks.

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