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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

First Lady Michelle Obama joined the social photo sharing website Pinterest on Wednesday.  Her account currently contains three boards, titled "Around the White House," "Great memories" and "Father's Day."  The first lady planted her flag in another popular social networking site earlier this year when she joined Twitter in January.  

Henry Hill, the mobster who served as the basis for Ray Liotta's character in Martin Scorcese's iconic 1990 film "Goodfellas," died Tuesday in Los Angeles.  He was 69.  

Mitt Romney's campaign rolled out a new infographic Wednesday detailing how the Republican nominee's first 100 days in office would differ from the opening 100 days of President Barack Obama's first term.

The graphic contains a number of Romney's most oft-invoked campaign pledges — from repeal of the new health care law to approval of the Keystone Pipeline — along with conservative boilerplate, such as pledges to undo regulations, slash government spending and pursue tax reform. 

A referendum on Washington's law allowing same-sex marriage will appear on the state's November ballot, the secretary of state's office announced Wednesday.

Opponents to the law submitted 247,331 signatures last week — vastly exceeding the minimum of 120,577 valid signatures required.  The signatures then passed the signature-verification process, bringing Referendum 74 to a statewide vote this fall.

If passed, the referendum will overturn a measure that was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) earlier this year.  Washington is one of two states that legalized same-sex marriage in 2012.  A similar law was passed and signed into law earlier this year in Maryland, where there will likely be a referendum on the measure as well.  

Most Americans — including independent voters who will likely tip the election — hold a negative view of President Barack Obama's vision for the United States economy, according to a new poll released Wednesday.  

In the latest ABC/Washington Post poll, 50 percent view Obama's plans for the nation's economy unfavorably, while 43 percent have a favorable view.  It's even more grim for the president among independents, 54 percent of whom have an unfavorable view of Obama's economic plans.

Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney does not fare any better.  Only 37 percent have a favorable view of Romney's plans for the economy, while 47 percent view his economic outlook for the country unfavorably.  But more Americans are undecided when it comes to the former Massachusetts governor, giving him room to build support for his economic plans.  Sixteen percent have no opinion of Romney's plans for the economy, compared to only 7 percent who have yet to make up their minds on Obama's plans.  

The top two Hawaii Democrats vying to replace longtime U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka (D) are deadlocked, according to a new poll released Tuesday. 

In the latest survey from Civil Beat, Ed Case and U.S. House Rep. Mazie Hirono both at 46 percent among Hawaii voters.  Case represented Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District from 2002-2007, when Hirono succeeded him.  The two faced each other in a 2002 Democratic gubernatorial primary, which Hirono won narrowly.  

Hawaii Democrats will select their nominee in a statewide primary on August 11, with the winner likely to face Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. Lingle became the state's first female governor after defeating Hirono in the 2002 general election campaign.  

President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney continue to run neck-and-neck, according to a new poll released Tuesday evening.

In the latest Ipsos/Reuters poll, Obama edges Romney by the narrowest of margins among registered voters nationwide, 45 percent to 44 percent.  The results are consistent with other national polls, nearly all of which have shown the president and the former Massachusetts governor in a dead heat.  But Tuesday's poll may still be a cause for alarm within the Obama campaign, as the president held a 7-point lead over Romney in the previous Ipsos/Reuters survey released only a month ago.

The PollTracker Average also depicts an extremely tight contest, with Obama currently holding a slim advantage over Romney.

Mitt Romney has taken the lead over President Barack Obama in the pivotal swing state of North Carolina, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

The latest survey from Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Romney edging the president among North Carolina voters, 48 percent to 46 percent. While the lead is within the poll's 3.4 percent margin of error, it represents the first time since October that Romney has topped the president in PPP's monthly polling of the Tar Heel State.

Romney continues to see gains in his personal favorability rating among North Carolinians. In the statewide survey, 41 percent say they view the former Massachusetts governor favorably -- up from a 37 percent favorability rating in May and a paltry 29 percent favorability rating in April. Compounding matters for the president: His approval rating in North Carolina is going the other way.

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Nearly half of voters believe that Republicans are deliberately hamstringing efforts to resuscitate the economy in order to bolster their chances of defeating President Barack Obama, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

The latest survey from Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP), conducted in conjunction with Daily Kos and SEIU, shows that 49 percent of registered voters nationwide think Republicans are "intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy" to ensure Obama's defeat in November.  Half of all independents surveyed feel the same way.  

The results are sure to embolden Democrats, who have long maintained that Republicans are actively rooting for economic failure to undermine Obama politically.  

Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) continues to be viewed favorably by most of his New Jersey constituents, according to a poll released Tuesday.

In the latest Rutgers-Eagleton survey, Christie is viewed favorably by 50 percent of Garden State voters, while 39 percent hold an unfavorable view.  The 50 percent favorability rating represents the high-water mark for the first-term governor in Rutgers-Eagleton's polling. 

The TPM Poll Average also illustrates Christie's enormous popularity in New Jersey.

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