Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Last Call For That Poll-Asked Look, Masks Off Edition

Axios commissioned a poll to see which battleground states had the highest parent opposition to mask mandates in schools, and it turns out it's neither Texas nor Florida, but Iowa and Ohio.

Most parents back mask mandates, but the states where GOP parents are most opposed aren't the ones we always hear about, according to a new Axios/Momentive poll.

Why it matters: While plenty of attention has centered around debates around the public health measures in schools in states like Texas and Florida, the poll offers a glimpse at how much more widespread opposition is across the country.

As expected, individuals' feelings on mask mandates fell along party lines, with 85% of Democrats, 66% of independents, and 32% of Republicans supporting mask mandates for all students and staff at their child’s school. 
But rather than states where school mask mandates bans have been in the national spotlight, such as Texas and Florida, opposition to school mask mandates is highest in Colorado (37%), Minnesota (38%), and Ohio (43%) — as well as Iowa (44%), which does have a ban. 
Drilling down even deeper, fewer than half (46%) of Republicans in Texas —which has been especially hard hit by COVID in recent weeks — oppose all mask mandates. In comparison, 70% of Colorado Republicans oppose the mandates. 
In Florida, more than half of Republican parents (52%) say they oppose all mask mandates. In comparison, Republican parents oppose the mandates by margins ranging from 2:1 to 3:1 in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois, the poll found.

What they're saying: "The cross-state variability in Republican sentiment is notable," Jon Cohen, the chief research officer for Momentive told Axios. "School politics is ultimately local too, so a deeper dive within the states is a clear next step."

By the numbers: Overall, nearly 60% of parents backed the broadest school mandates, nearly twice as many as the number who say they oppose all mask mandates.
Another 10% of parents with children age five to 17 say they support mask mandates only for those students and staff members who are unvaccinated.
What this tells me is that Republicans in states where school mask mandates are present and working are the most likely to be against mask mandates in school.  On the other hand, you have states like Ohio where there are some districts with mask mandates but not all, and they haven't been hit as hard by COVID as say, Texas or Florida to make them think any differently.

In both cases, Republicans are against mandates because their states haven't been flooded by COVID.

The Ohio Hospital Association reports the strain on the state’s hospitals is getting tighter due to coronavirus.

Currently, 1 in 7 patients in the hospital is being treated for COVID-19.

A week ago, that number was 1 in 8.

To give you an idea of how fast those numbers are climbing, 2 months ago 1 in 101 patients admitted to the hospital were being treated for coronavirus.

There are 2,933 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Ohio.

67 of those admitted in the last week are children 17 and under.

That’s an increase of 81.1% from a week ago.

The data shows that those numbers are still climbing and have not hit a plateau.

Admissions are up in all age groups.
So yes, expect Ohio and the rest of the Midwest to get crushed by COVID this month.

Marvel Is Back, Baby

After the box office and streaming success of Black Widow, and the Disney+ series (WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki) it looks like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has people back at theaters, hopefully safely and masked.

The movie industry is still in an extended period of recovery as the ongoing effects of the covid-19 pandemic make bringing audiences back to theater seats—and even just getting movies made and out to those theaters in the first place—a challenge. But in spite of that, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has proved that Marvel Studios’ continuous grasp on the collective cultural psyche can overcome even a lot of the weirdest challenges the last 18 months has thrown at the box office.

Final figures for Destin Daniel Cretton’s martial arts adventure over the Labor Day weekend have come in (via Deadline), and Shang-Chi has drawn in just over $90 million for its four-day debut. It was previously estimated to pull around $50-60 million, due to the extenuating factors. That includes relative audience hesitancy to return to theaters as rising cases of the Delta variant of covid-19 have seen mask mandates and vaccination card checks hit key theater markets over the past few months. The figures are record-breaking, not just for the pandemic-era box office, but full stop: Shang-Chi is now the biggest Labor Day weekend opening at theaters since 2007's launch of the Rob Zombie Halloween remake, nearly tripling its take of $30.6 million.

Internationally, the film has been harder to judge. Current totals stand at around $146 million for Shang-Chi, which is still very impressive, but not as seemingly grand as other pandemic releases recently, including Marvel’s own Black Widow. While Shang-Chi did better domestically (Widow opened to $80 million in the U.S.), Black Widow performed slightly better internationally, earning $158 million across 46 international territories. But there are extenuating factors here as well: Shang-Chi opened in slightly fewer international markets (42), and neither movie was released in the Chinese market, which has become increasingly valuable for Disney. But in Black Widow’s case, the film also debuted simultaneously on Disney+—and is now currently at the center of a major legal battle between its star Scarlett Johannson and Disney because of it—as part of the streamer’s $30-a-movie “Premiere Access” option, which the studio leveraged in box office reporting to give Widow a combined $215 million opening weekend total.

Whether or not Shang-Chi will see the same rapid drop-off as Widow did at the box office in the weeks to come remains to be seen. But no matter which way you slice it, it’s very good news for a movie whose release Disney previously touted as an “experiment” for the studio to test the waters of audience confidence (to the ire of star Simu Liu), as the covid-19 pandemic continues across the world. Its success has already had an impact beyond Disney itself—yesterday Sony announced that instead of delaying the release of Venom: Let There Be Carnage again as previously rumored, it would instead shift the release of its Marvel movie forward two weeks, to an October 1 debut. Even as the uncertainty around the rest of the fall movie release window seems to remain as in flux as it has for the past 18 months, Shang-Chi’s overwhelming defiance of expectations has provided a shot in the arm to an industry still trying to navigate its way to a future beyond the current “new normal” of the pandemic.


I'm definitely looking forward to both Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel on Disney+ (and What If...? continues to be excellent) but I wonder if The Eternals will be Marvel's first box office misstep in November, I just don't have a good feeling about that film.

Then again, Kevin Feige has made several billion, so maybe he has a good thing going.

We'll see.

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

All indications are that right-wing vengeance porn festival on September 18 , the DC "Justice For J6" rally, could be as violent as the January 6th insurrection that it's being called in vengeance for by the white supremacist domestic terrorism community.

Or, you know, worse. Even former Trump-era officials are warning that President Biden and Democrats in Congress need to absolutely be prepared for violence.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said Monday evening that law enforcement needs to take the upcoming right-wing rally in support of jailed January 6 rioters "very seriously" as concerns mount about more potential violence on Capitol Hill.

"I think they should take it very seriously. In fact, they should take it more seriously than they took the same sort of intelligence that they likely saw on January 5," McCabe, a CNN contributor, told CNN's Poppy Harlow on "Erin Burnett OutFront."

Law enforcement members in Washington are steeling themselves against possible unrest at the "Justice for J6" rally -- planned for September 18 -- which aims to support the insurrectionists charged in the riot.

The event, organized by a former Trump campaign staffer, has prompted security concerns on Capitol Hill, and some precautionary measures will be in place. However, it's unclear how many protesters plan to attend. The rally is also taking place on a Saturday, when the House will be on recess, so far fewer lawmakers or staff will be around.

A law enforcement source previously told CNN that the Metropolitan Police Department will be fully activated, which includes canceling days off for sworn officers and putting Civil Disturbance Units on standby. The source said the department will monitor open source information -- like online chatter and travel bookings -- to gauge the potential crowds.

Homeland Security Intelligence chief John Cohen told CNN last month that online extremist rhetoric is strikingly similar to the buildup to the January 6 attack, with increasing calls for violence linked to conspiracy theories and false narratives.

The security preparations for September 18 underscore the tense environment on Capitol Hill following the January 6 attack. In August, a man critical of Democrats was arrested after an hours-long standoff near the Capitol during which he claimed to have an explosive device; the event ended without incident but still sent a chill through Capitol Hill and provided law enforcement with yet another example of the risks of a toxic political climate. In April, a Capitol Police officer was killed after a man rammed a vehicle into a police barricade.

The charged environment has led lawmakers to invest in body armor and security systems, while the US Capitol Police is opening field offices in cities around the country.

McCabe goes on to say that the biggest difference will be that President Biden isn't Donald Trump, and that while Trump will be almost certainly instigating violence ahead of September 18th, he won't be in a position to delay the Capitol and DC police, the DC National Guard, and the FBI like he was in January. 

At least, I hope not.


Related Posts with Thumbnails