Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi sharply denounced Israel's recent airstrikes on the Gaza Strip during a televised address on Thursday, Reuters reports.

"We are in contact with the people of Gaza and with Palestinians and we stand by them until we stop the aggression," Morsi said. "The Israelis must realize that this aggression is unacceptable and would only lead to instability in the region".

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) looks poised to finish his first and only term in good standing among his constituents in the Commonwealth, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University released Thursday.

The poll shows that 53 percent of Virginia voters approve of the job McDonnell is doing as governor, while 26 percent disapprove. McDonnell has earned consistently high marks for his job performance since taking office in 2010. His tenure in Richmond will draw to a close at the end of 2013 due to a state law that prohibits governors from serving two consecutive terms.

The PollTracker Average iullustrates McDonnell's steadily strong approval rating.


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The re-election of President Obama last week was just too much for some conservatives to handle. Although the doomsday pronouncements of the past four years have yet to materialize, some Americans couldn't help themselves from freaking out over the news that the president will be here for one more term.

TPM has compiled the six most bizarre reactions to Obama's victory.

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Former CIA Director David Petraeus has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the September terrorist attack in Libya, ABC News reports.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chairwoman of the committee, told ABC's Sunlen Miller that Petraeus has agreed to testify and that "details are being worked out." Petraeus was originally scheduled to testify this week, but those plans were muddled when he resigned from his post at the CIA.

A week after voters in Colorado and Washington passed measures legalizing recreational use of marijuana, a new poll released Wednesday shows that opinion across the country is divided on the matter.

The latest poll from ABC News and the Washington Post shows that 48 percent of American adults support legalizing small amounts of marijuana, compared with 50 percent who are opposed.

But attitudes on the issue appear to be generationally influenced. Fifty-five percent of American adults under the age of 30 support legalization while 45 percent of the young age group is opposed. But those over the age of 65 are staunchly against an end to prohibition: 67 percent are opposed and only 30 percent are in favor of legalization.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday announced that the United States would pledge an additional $30 million in aid to people affected by the ongoing crisis in Syria, Reuters reports.

Addressing reporters in Australia, Clinton also offered encouraging words for the newly formed opposition coalition in Syria but balked when it came to offering arms or recognition to the rebels. 

More than 50 percent of Americans support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and marriage for same-sex couples, according to a new poll from ABC News and the Washington Post released Wednesday.

There is robust support for a path to citizenship — 57 percent — while only 39 percent are opposed to a policy plank that could well be taken up by the incoming Congress.

Opinion is more divided on same-sex marriage, but it's still supported by a majority of the country. Fifty-one percent said they are in favor of allowing gay and lesbian couples to get married, while 47 percent are opposed.

LGBT advocates experienced a long-awaited elecotral breakthrough last week with voters in three states — Maine, Maryland and Washington — all passing laws to legalize same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, voters in Minnesota rejected a proposed amendment to provide legal recognition only to marriage between a man and a woman.


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Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) is a heavy favorite over any would-be Republican foes if he should make a run in Virginia's 2013 gubernatorial election, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University released Wednesday.

The poll shows Warner, who served as governor of the Commonwealth from 2002 until 2006, eclipsing 50 percent support among registered voters and holding wide leads in hypothetical matchups against a pair of Republicans, lieutenant governor Bill Bolling and state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli. Warner, elected to the Senate in 2008, is viewed favorably by 58 percent of Virginia voters.

If Warner opts to remain in the Senate — and he is expected to make a decision on his plans by Thanksgiving — the governor's race would almost certainly become more competitive. Former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe, who ran unsuccessfully for governor of Virginia in 2009, edges Bolling and Cuccinelli by 2 and 4 points respectively in the poll. 

The poll was conducted Nov. 8-12 using live phone interviews with 1,469 registered Virginia voters. It has a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.

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The Gallup organization on Tuesday defended its polling of the 2012 presidential election in a memo posted on its website. Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup and author of the memo, argued that the organization's final estimate of the national popular vote showing Mitt Romney with 50 percent to President Barack Obama's 49 percent was "well within the statistical margin of error."

Gallup's polling came under sharp scrutiny during the final stretch of the campaign for showing Romney with much wider national leads than other outlets. A study from Fordham University last week ranked Gallup as one of the least accurate pollsters in the 2012 cycle.

More from the memo:

As our tradition has been in presidential election years, Gallup's focus this year was on producing an estimate of the national popular vote. We don’t “predict” the election, nor do we make estimates of the Electoral College. In the end, Gallup's national popular vote estimate was that the popular vote was too close to call, a statistical tie -- 50% for Mitt Romney, 49% for Barack Obama. When the dust settled, Romney got 48% of the popular vote and Obama received 50%, meaning that Gallup’s percentage-point estimate was within two percentage points for Romney and within one point for Obama. The “gap” difference was three points. All of these are well within the statistical margin of error and underscore the accuracy of random sampling today, even with all of the challenges provided by changing forms of communication (i.e., cellphones), changing demographics, lowered response rates, identifying likely voters, and a wide variety of other factors.


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Fifty-one percent of Americans believe that President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans will fail to strike a deal in order to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff," according to a new poll released Tuesday.

The survey, from the Washington Post and Pew Research Center, shows that only 38 percent believe an agreement will be reached while 11 percent have no opinion.

A failure to produce a deal before the January 1, 2013 deadline will trigger a host of automatic spending cuts and tax increases, something that 44 percent of respondents said would have a "major" effect on their personal financial situation. Sixty-eight percent believe that the more than $500 million in spending cuts and tax increases that would result from unsuccessful negotiations would also have a major effect on the economy.

The poll was conducted Nov. 8-11 using live phone interviews with 1,000 American adults. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.


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