Is “Moderate Mitt” a Myth?

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.