The rapid change of heart among some Democrats regarding COVID-19 restrictions caught a lot of their allies off guard. The obvious reason for the change: politics. And it turns out, there was polling data driving the politics:

The poll found that that 57% of voters in competitive congressional districts agree with the statement, “Democrats in Congress have taken things too far in their pandemic response,” and 66% of self-defined “swing” voters in competitive districts agree with that statement. White and Hispanic voters in competitive districts were equally as likely to agree (59%), while Black voters (42%) and Asian voters (46%) disagreed with the statement. The poll also did not define what “taken things too far” means.

Too far will always be hard to define because it means different things to different people. But COVID-19 response wasn’t the only bad news for Democrats:

Sixty-one percent of swing district voters agreed with the statements, “Democrats in Congress are spending money out of control,” and, “Democrats are teaching kids as young as five Critical Race Theory, which teaches that America is a racist country and that white people are racist.” And 59% agreed with the statement, “Democrats are too focused on pursuing an agenda that divides us and judging those who don’t see things their way.”

What were voters’ top issues?

…the top two concerns of voters in competitive districts are inflation and health care, with the COVID-19 pandemic coming in third. Medicare/social security and climate change rounded out the top five. At the bottom of the list were voting rights, taxes and racial justice/equality.

The economy and health – perennial issues that decide elections. All the more reason to keep an eye on that leading political indicator: inflation. If the U.S. is still rocking a 7 percent or higher inflation rate come Election Day, Democrats may be in a whole heap of trouble.