Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

Reporter

Tim Murphy is a reporter in MoJo's DC bureau. Last summer he logged 22,000 miles while blogging about his cross-country road trip for Mother Jones. His writing has been featured in Slate and the Washington Monthly. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy [at] motherjones [dot] com.

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Mitt Romney, Defender of Spanking?

| Tue Oct. 23, 2012 5:08 AM EDT

Mitt Romney is a man of many pledges. He's pledged to sign a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. He's pledged to appoint a presidential commission to investigate the intimidation of gay marriage foes. He's pledged to "look at every government program and ask this question: Is this so critical that it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?" But over the last few weeks, as he's tried to move to the center and reneged on many of his most contentious past promises, there is one pledge he hasn't backed away from. It involves spanking.

In July, the GOP presidential nominee wrote a letter to Virginia conservative activist Michael Farris, an evangelical power broker in the critical swing state, outlining his opposition to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which commits ratifying nations to protect children from discrimination. "My position on that convention is unequivocal: I would oppose Senate approval of the convention, and would not sign the convention for final ratification," Romney wrote. "I believe that the best safeguard for the well-being and protection of children is the family, and that the primary safeguards for the legal rights of children in America is the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the states."

Poll: Voter Fraud Paranoia Officially Bipartisan

| Wed Oct. 17, 2012 9:26 AM EDT

When it comes to passing laws that make it harder for specific constituencies to vote, Republicans have a near-monopoly. As we've detailed extensively, the last 12 months has seen a flood of voter I.D. legislation, almost all of it geared at combatting the non-existent problem of in-person voter fraud (you have a greater chance of seeing a UFO).

But paranoia about voter fraud, it turns out, is a truly bipartisan affliction. Public Policy Polling, which apart from being a reliable pollster in its own right has a knack for asking large samples of voters totally random questions we were always curious about, asked voters in Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio whether they were concerned about voter fraud this November. Here's Florida:

Public Policy PollingPublic Policy Polling

And here's what happens when you ask about Republicans. The roles are mostly reversed, except interestingly self-identified moderates seem less worried about Democratic voting fraud than actual liberals:

Public Policy PollingPublic Policy Polling

Those trends hold for Ohio and North Carolina too. The takeaway from all of this, as ever, is that we're all slowly going insane.

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