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Tipsheet

The Real Reason for Democrats' Flip Flop on COVID Restrictions

(Chris Pedota/The Record via AP, Pool)

Suddenly and almost all at once, a number of Democratic governors in blue states announced this week they are ending a number of Wuhan coronavirus pandemic restrictions. 

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy kicked things off Monday, with California's Gavin Newsom and New York's Kathy Hochul quickly falling in line behind him. 

Why the sudden change? Now we know the answer. 

Focus groups and polling convened by Democrats has them changing their policies. Given Murphy nearly lost his gubernatorial race in the fall to a Republican, he's taking advantage of the turning tide and attempting to save his political future. 

"Arranging a series of focus groups across the state to see what they had missed, Mr. Murphy’s advisers were struck by the findings: Across the board, voters shared frustrations over public health measures, a sense of pessimism about the future and a deep desire to return to some sense of normalcy," the New York Times reports. "Even Democratic voters, they agreed, were wearying of the toughest restrictions, growing increasingly impatient with mandates and feeling ready to live with the risk that remained...While the specific steps vary by state, the message was the same: It’s time to move on."

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The easing of restrictions from Democrats comes weeks after newly minted Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin ended forced masking of children in schools. While Democrats are being praised for "following the science" and "learning to live with the virus," Youngkin was smeared as a science denier putting children at risk. 

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