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Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in New York City. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, Tom served as assistant polling editor for TPM Media's PollTracker during the 2012 campaign. Before joining TPM, he worked on political campaigns and wrote for various publications in Minnesota and his native South Dakota. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

Appearing on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight on Thursday, former Republican presidential aspirants Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum weighed in on an issue that emerged from Wednesday night's debate: should PBS — and by extension, Big Bird and the gang on Sesame Street — receive federal funding?  

Gingrich said he'd "liberate" Big Bird from the burdensome federal bureaucracy, while Santorum admitted that he has already voted to kill the iconic character.  

 

 

A pair of religious groups will display ads celebrating Islam and urging tolerance in various New York City subway stations near the "anti-jihad" advertisements that have prompted a public backlash, the New York Times reports.  

The groups — one Christian and one Jewish — said their campaigns weren't coordinated.  Their ads will coincidentally go up on Monday.  

A pro-Israel group spnsored the original ad that's generated such an uproar.  The copy of that ad, which has been defaced in some stations, reads, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad."

The A.P. reports:

All 18 elementary school students buried in a landslide were confirmed dead Friday, while one other person also died after a hillside collapsed and smothered part of a village in mountainous southwestern China.

The Tiantou Elementary School was buried Thursday when the hillside collapsed in Zhenhe, a village in Yunnan province, the Yiliang County government said on its website.

All 18 students who were buried in the school were confirmed dead, the government said. The official Xinhua News Agency said the body of a 19th victim was found Friday. It gave no details, but the county government said earlier that a person was missing from a house that had collapsed.



Fifty-four percent of American adults approve of President Barack Obama's job performance, according to Gallup's daily tacking poll released Thursday.

That's not only Obama's high-water mark for 2012, it's also his highest approval rating in Gallup's tracking since November of 2009.  It also shows 42 percent give Obama negative marks for his job performance, matching his lowest disapproval rating for 2012.  Gallup's previous four releases this year that showed only 42 percent disapproving of Obama all came in September.  

The tracking period for Thursday's release was Oct. 1-3.   

Republican Linda McMahon holds a slim 1-point lead over Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy in Connecitcut's competitive U.S. Senate race, according to a new poll released Thursday.

The latest poll from Quinnipiac University shows McMahon leading Murphy among likely voters, 48 percent to 47 percent, in a race that represents an unexpected pick-up opportunity for the GOP.  

McMahon is viewed more favorably than her Democratic opponent.  Forty-five percent of Connecticut voters have a favorable view of the former professional wrestling mogul, compared with 41 percent who have an unfavorable view.  Murphy's favorability rating, on the other hand, is under water: 36 percent have a favorable view of the three-term congressman, while 40 percent have an unfavorable view.

The PollTracker Average shows the two candidates neck-and-neck, with Murphy holding a roughly 1-point edge over McMahon.

 

It isn't the eye-popping 14-point margin that caught the political world off guard last month, but President Barack Obama continues to boast a wide lead in Wisconsin, according to the latest Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday.

Obama leads Romney 53 percent to 42 percent among likely voters in a state that looks a lot less like the battleground that many anticipated after Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan joined the Republican ticket in August. The president claimed a commanding lead in Marquette's previous mid-September poll, 54 percent to 40 percent.

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President Barack Obama continues to look like the clear favorite in Ohio, while the race is tight in Virginia and Florida, according to a trio of polls out Wednesday.

In the latest slate of swing state polls released jointly by NBC News, Marist College and the Wall Street Journal, Obama boasts a comfortable lead over Mitt Romney among likely voters in Ohio, 51 percent to 43 percent. The Buckeye State slipped away from Romney last month, and Wednesday's poll indicates that the president is maintaining his strong standing there.

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President Barack Obama earns the support of nearly 60 percent of women nationwide while holding a 4-point lead overall, according to a poll from Quinnipiac University released Tuesday.

Although the president has consistently outpaced Romney among women, few polls have shown him hitting the lofty level of support with the key voting bloc that he reached in Tuesday's poll from Quinnipiac. Women widely prefer Obama to Romney in the poll, 56 percent to 38 percent.

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Voters nationwide are much more receptive to an immigration policy that helps illegal immigrants achieve legal status rather than one that focuses on deportation, a new poll released Tuesday shows.

The latest poll from CNN and ORC International shows that 56 percent of registered voters believe the U.S. government's primary focus should be on a plan that allows employed illegal immigrants to become legal residents.

Comparatively, 39 percent believe the government's main focus should be on stemming the flow of illegal immigration and deporting those who are already living here.

Poll trutherism is anything but a fringe belief among Republicans, a new poll released Tuesday shows.

The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP), commissioned by Daily Kos and Service Employees International Union, shows that 71 percent of Republicans believe pollsters are deliberately skewing their results to produce a more favorable outcome for President Barack Obama.    Overall, voters are split: 42 percent said they believe pollsters are intentionally skewing their polls, compared with 40 percent who said they are not.

Skepticism over recent polls — many of which have shown Obama with a growing lead over Mitt Romney — has reached a fever pitch among conservatives, epitomized by a new right-wing website that provides "unskewed" results of polls.  

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