(WASHINGTONPOST) — Many Republican governors who worked to thwart much of President Barack Obama’s first-term agenda are shifting gears and softening their rhetoric now that his run was extended for four more years and they’re facing their own re-election.

These state leaders are offering greater cooperation on health care and skipping the tough talk on immigration, taking a cue from voters who in last November’s election expressed their opposition to partisan gridlock in Washington.

For many governors, the new approach reflects not just the specific needs of their states but also the realities of the political calendar: Nearly two dozen GOP governors elected in 2009 and 2010 could face the voters again.

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