Is “Moderate Mitt” a Myth?

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Yesterday Bill Clinton mocked the less conservative, more measured version of Mitt Romney who showed up at Wednesday’s debate with a new nickname. “I thought, ‘Wow, here’s old Moderate Mitt. Where ya been, boy? I missed ya all these last two years.'”

It’s true that Romney took a deliberately more moderate tone on Wednesday. But did he really seem more moderate to the average voter watching the debate? John Sides brings the data and says no: The circled dots on the chart below indicate public perception of Romney before and after the debate, and they show no difference. If he won the debate, it was due more to energy and focus than to the emergence of Romney 3.0. More at the link.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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