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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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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