What to make of the well-covered story that Ted Nugent joined Greg Abbott on the campaign trail for the first day of early voting? I don’t need to detail all of the terrible things that Nugent has said; they don’t deserve the time or the space it takes to repeat them. But here’s my message for Greg Abbott: This is totally repugnant, and it is astonishing to me that Abbott has not separated himself from Nugent. It should have been the first thing he did after Nugent’s rants. But no, Abbott is a hard man. He doesn’t give an inch.

It reveals Abbott, at the very least, as someone who doesn’t have acute political judgment. Nugent is political dynamite. He can blow sky high at a moments’ notice. And if Abbott truly believes that he needs Nugent to establish his 2nd Amendment credentials, as if they were in any doubt, then Abbott must believe that his own record doesn’t speak for itself. You can’t have it both ways. The likely next governor of Texas should be better than that.

I think Republicans should be worried. This is exactly the kind of brashness and bravado that turns voters off — in particular women voters — and it may drive some Republican voters out of their party. In my opinion, at least, Abbott and the Republicans are a lot closer to the precipice than most Republicans realize. Yes, Texas is still a red state. But even in Texas, there are limits to what you can say. Ted Nugent put his mark on Greg Abbott. That mark is going to be indelible.

( Photo by Invision AP / Owen Sweeney )