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Florida voters and the DeSantis variant

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It is far from obvious that DeSantis branding himself as America’s anti-anti-COVID governor is a political winner:

We now have a quality poll — from Quinnipiac University — that seeks to probe public opinion on the great mask debate in Florida in a lot of fine-grained detail. And the conclusion is clear: Anti-mask derangement is losing the argument. Badly.

Which hints at a big opening for President Biden and Democrats.

Florida, of course, is ground zero in the mask wars, to a degree unsurpassed by any state, with the possible exception of Texas. In Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has done everything he can to block local officials from implementing mask mandates, sparking a remarkable rebellion, with numerous school districts defying him.

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Large majorities reject just about every aspect of DeSantis’s framing of this public debate. Those majorities not only support mask mandates; they also see them as a matter of public health and a legitimate tool for local officials to employ. They don’t see them as an infringement on freedom, and see them as effective against covid spread, which they view as a problem that is both preventable and that DeSantis has personally made worse.

Most people do not in fact want themselves or their kids to get sick, and understand that the idea that public health measures are inconsistent with FREEDOM! is dumb. Whether most mainstream political reporters will figure this out at some point, who knows.

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