In response to plummeting approval ratings, Democrats are now moving away from lockdown policies they previously vehemently advocated over fears about being wiped out politically.
That’s according to a new report by Politico, which notes how, “Omicron is surging — and Democrats aren’t shutting things down this time.”
“From New York to California, Democratic mayors and governors are fighting to keep schools and businesses open with an urgency they haven’t flexed before in the pandemic,” writes Lisa Kashinsky.
That sea change likely has a lot to do with Republicans securing a November clean sweep of the House, as well as the offices of governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in Virginia.
Republican Glenn Youngkin appealed to parents who were angry over school closures and other issues such as mask mandates, while New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy came closer to defeat than expected over frustrations relating to COVID restrictions.
Big events such as the Super Bowl in L.A. will now go ahead, while the likes of Fauci and Biden refrained from telling Americans to cancel holiday plans despite record case numbers caused by Omicron.
“Democrats went further than most Republicans in shutting down businesses, enforcing social distancing and requiring masks to tame the spread of the virus — and were initially rewarded politically for their caution,” states the report.
R.I.P. Lockdown America 🇺🇸
As we say in Boston: It’s Ova!
As we say in Miami: Bienvenido!https://t.co/FsRvz4Pfse #Dems #politics #trends #pandemic #elections #lockdownskill #addiction #suicide #chronicdisease #obesity #alcoholism #omicron #vaccinemandates #vax #COVID19 #society pic.twitter.com/nQpcTOEBs6
— Diane Mantouvalos (@AndoniaPR) January 10, 2022
“But as the nation trudges into a third pandemic year in the grips of another variant-fueled wave, blue state leaders faced with exhausted and frustrated voters have lost the stomach for strict shutdowns.”
According to Bob Blendon, a polling and political strategy expert at the Harvard T.H. Chan School, Democrats “see an upcoming election, they see backlashes.”
“They can’t close things down, and there is no public tolerance for serious disruptions in people’s lives. People have run out of patience,” said Blendon.