Nicole Lafond

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Nicole Lafond is TPM’s associate editor, based in New York. She has also worked as the special projects editor and as a senior newswriter for TPM. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously covered education in central Illinois.

Where Things Stand: Most Republicans Are Down To Declare US A Christian Nation
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Politico just put out data from a new poll it conducted a few months back and the results are worth flagging: While most Republicans believe that the idea of Christian nationalism is unconstitutional, most also support declaring the U.S. a Christian nation.

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Where Things Stand: Graham Explains That His Abortion Bill Is *Actually* A Dunk On China
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Everyone is very confused about why Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has taken on anti-abortion advocacy as his new hobby horse — and why now. While he’s irritated half his colleagues by proposing a 15-week federal abortion ban just weeks out from a midterm election when Republicans’ extreme positions on abortion could very likely spell doom for the party’s Senate majority, he also just managed to make the GOP’s stance on the issue even more confusing.

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Where Things Stand: That Was The Most Ominous QAnon Embrace Yet. We Checked.
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Like the soft piano chords of an old time hymn underscore a fire-and-brimstone tent revival service, the chords of a QAnon ballad filled the arena at a Trump rally this weekend — as the former president angrily bemoaned just how “in decline” our nation is.

At a campaign event for Ohio Republican Senate nominee J.D. Vance Saturday, Trump delivered a speech about the perceived failures our nation has experienced in the two years since he was booted from the White House. The rally featured a speech from QAnon congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and the event was filled with standard fare MAGAworld grievances.

But toward the end, we witnessed the former President embracing the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory movement more explicitly than he ever has in the past.

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Where Things Stand: Tossing Their Leverage With The Bathwater?
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Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and the rest of the bipartisan group of senators working on the passage of a same-sex marriage bill announced today that they’re going to table their efforts until after the election. Baldwin in a statement noted that she’s confident the group will get enough Republicans on board post-midterms for the bill to pass the Senate.

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Where Things Stand: Pence Joins Graham’s Great ‘Election Interference’
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While vowing his undying allegiance to the “pro-life” movement, Turning Point USA founder and far-right provocateur Charlie Kirk could barely contain his ire with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) this week as he sweatily yelled at the senator for his abortion ban legislation. Kirk described the introduction of a bill that would ban abortion federally at 15-weeks just weeks out from the midterms as synonymous with “election interference.”

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TPM’s The Weekender: Back To Court
Where Things Stand: Watching The Christian Right’s Power Play Out In Real Time
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I made the point yesterday that the language Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is using to clean up his past marriage equality remarks — earlier this summer he said he had no reason to “oppose” codifying same-sex marriage into federal law — is an obvious cave to the Christian right. In frantic messaging in recent days, Johnson has flip-flopped on his previous position as he struggles with the impossible task of casting himself as a reasonable guy to Wisconsin voters and a reliable ally to Christian conservatives.

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