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There are many ways to slice data to get a result you want.
When you think about COVID impact on unemployment there is no doubt that the attitude of the states governor is somewhere in the mix, but you have to dig deeper to to infer that that is the sole cause

As you rightly point out, Hawaii is an outlier because of its tourist dependent economy and the same is true of Florida. Of the remainder it I would argue that population density is the base underlying cause and it just so happens that these states have large metro areas which tend to be democratic.

If you slice the data another way, you will see that Democratic Governors with republican state houses did the best of all.

Or that the first 25 states alphabetically fared much worse that the latter 25. Suppose that you could use that logic to move from Alabama to Wyoming
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