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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

President Barack Obama now claims a 10-point lead in Michigan, according to the first public poll conducted in the state since each party's convention. 

In the latest survey from in-state pollster EPIC-MRA, conducted on behalf of the Detroit Free Press and local ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV and released Wednesday evening, Obama claims the support of 47 percent of likely Michigan voters, while Mitt Romney trails with the support of 37 percent.  The previous release from EPIC-MRA — a snap poll conducted in late August — showed Obama clinging to a 3-point lead over Romney, 49 percent to 46 percent.

Polling in Michigan has been wildly divergent throughout the summer, with local firms often showing a dead heat and national pollsters typically showing Obama with a bit more breathing room, making it extremely difficult to get an accurate read on the race there.  Wednesday's poll comes on the heels of a survey conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) immediately after the Republican National Convention, which showed Obama with a 7-point advantage over Romney in Michigan.

The findings of that PPP survey and Wednesday's EPIC-MRA poll comport with expectations in the state.  Although it is the former stomping ground of Romney, Michigan has been widely viewed as friendly territory to Obama, due to his administration's successful restructuring of the U.S. automotive companies.  The auto rescue figured prominently at last week's Democratic National Convention, most notably in a fiery speech by former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on the final night.  

Obama currently boasts an 8.5-point lead over Romney in Michigan, according to the PollTracker Average, 48.2 percent to 39.7 percent.

 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday offered a candid assessment of Mitt Romney's electoral chances in an interview with The Hill, saying the Republican nominee is "in trouble" if the race is decided by the increasingly diverse electorate in the United States.  Graham suggested that Romney's chances hinge largely on the nation's economy.  

“If I were Obama I’d be nervous about the economy, but if I were Romney I’d be nervous about demographics,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told The Hill on Tuesday. “The economic condition of the nation cries out for a change in leadership, but when you look at the map, demographics, they do matter. If this is an economic election, we’ll win, but if it’s a demographic election, we’re in trouble.”

 

 

Voters in Minnesota are sharply divided over a proposed constitutional amendment that would recognize marriage between a man and a woman as the only valid union in the state, according to a new poll released Wednesday. 

The latest release from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows that 48 percent of likely voters support the proposed same-sex marriage ban, which was adopted by the Republican-controlled legislature last year, while 47 percent are opposed.  In June, PPP found that 49 percent of Minnesota voters opposed the ban, compared with 43 percent who supported the amendment.  

Minnesota is one of four states that will vote on same-sex marriage in November, with the issue also appearing on the ballot in Washington, Maryland and Maine this year.  

The current PollTracker Average is comparable to the findings of Wednesday's poll, with 48.7 percent supporting the amendment and 45.7 percent opposed.

 

A new poll released Wednesday shows President Barack Obama holding a solid 11-point lead in New Mexico, undermining a recent claim by Mitt Romney's campaign that the presidential race is tightening there.

Conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the poll shows Obama earning the support 53 perent of likely New Mexico voters, while Romney trails with 42 percent support.  LCV has endorsed Obama in the 2012 election.

Neil Newhouse, a pollster for the Romney campaign, released a defensive memo earlier this week in an effort to rebut the notion that Obama has begun to pull away from his Republican challenger.  

In the memo, Newhouse cited a recent poll that was commissioned by the Albuquerque Journal, which showed Obama holding a 5-point edge over Romney in New Mexico.  While that poll did show a smaller lead for Obama than previous surveys, the president has still consistently held the upper-hand there and remains the clear favorite to pick up the state's five electoral votes — as evidenced by Wednesday's survey.  

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama leading Romney by 9 points in New Mexico, 50.3 percent to 41.3 percent.  

 

 

A strong majority of Washington voters support a state initiative to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana, a poll released on Monday shows.

The latest poll from SurveyUSA, conducted on behalf of Seattle-based NBC affiliate KING-TV, shows that 57 percent of likely voters in the state support Initiative 502, which would legalize and regulate cultivation, distribution and possession of small amounts of marijuana for individuals 21 years and older.  Thirty-four percent are opposed.

Similar measures will also be brought to a vote in Colorado and Oregon this year.  

A Gallup poll conducted earlier this year found a majority of Libyans approved of the United States and favored the NATO mission that ultimately helped topple longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The survey, released last month and conducted between March and April of this year, showed that 54 percent of Libyan adults approved of the job performance of U.S. leadership, compared with 30 percent who disapproved.  The European Union and United Kingdom received comparable approval ratings in the poll.

Additionally, the poll showed that 75 percent of Libyans favored the 2011 NATO military intervention, while only 22 percent were opposed.

Andrew Cuomo remains one of the most popular governors in the country, a new poll released Wednesday shows.

The latest poll from Quinnipiac University shows that 70 percent of New Yorkers approve of the job their Democratic governor is doing, compared with a mere 16 percent who disapprove.  Elected in 2010, Cuomo has claimed lofty approval numbers for virtually his entire first term.  According to Quinnipiac, his lowest mark came in February of last year, when a still-impressive 56 percent of of New York voters approved of Cuomo's job performance.  

Cuomo's popularity transcends party lines, with 66 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Democrats statewide approving of his job performance in Wednesday's poll.  He also boasts a minimum approval rating of 69 percent among independents, men, women, whites, African-Americans and Latinos.  Moreover, Cuomo is as widely approved in the more conservative upstate New York (68 percent) as he is in the liberal New York City metro region (70 percent).

The PollTracker Average currently places Cuomo's approval rating at 67.6 percent.

A majority of registered voters nationwide have a favorable opinion of President Barack Obama for the first time since the spring, according to a new poll from ABC News and the Washington Post released Wednesday.  

The poll shows that 52 percent of American voters view Obama favorably, compared with 45 percent who view him unfavorably.  That represents a marked turnaround from the previous ABC/WaPo survey released a week ago and conducted before the Democratic National Convention, which showed Obama's favorability rating under water.  It's also the highest mark for Obama's popularity since mid-April, when an ABC/WaPo showed the president's favorability rating at 54 percent.

Mitt Romney, meanwhile, continues to nurse a low level of personal popularity, with 44 percent viewing the Republican nominee favorably and 49 percent viewing him unfavorably.  Romney has battled a negative favorability rating in each ABC/WaPo poll since early January.   

The PollTracker Average currently mirrors Wednesday's poll, with Obama boasting a favorability rating of 52.4 percent that has been trending up over the last month.

When it comes to news regarding the nation's economy, Republicans and Democrats may as well be in different countries.

A new survey from Pew Research Center released Tuesday illustrates a sharp partisan divide over perceptions of news reports on the national economy.  Sixty percent of Republicans say they are hearing mostly bad news about the U.S. economy, compared with only 15 percent of Democrats who say the same.  Fittingly, independents fall between the two parties, with 36 percent saying they are hearing mostly bad economic news.  

The partisan differences apply to news on other parts of the economy.   Seventy-five percent of Republicans say they are hearing mostly bad news about the job situation, compared with just 34 percent of Democrats.  But the gap closes on the issue of gas prices: 89 percent of Republicans say they are hearing mostly bad news on that front, while 65 percent of Democrats concur.  

For only the second time since Gallup began tracking the head-to-head presidential match-up in 2012, President Barack Obama has reached the 50 percent threshold.

Obama leads Republican nominee Mitt Romney among registered voters nationwide in Gallup's Tuesday release, 50 percent to 44 percent.  The last time either candidate polled that high was in the tracking period of April 21-26, when the president led Romney by 7 points, 50 percent to 43 percent.  Gallup began testing the match-up between Obama and Romney on April 11.  

Tuesday's release comes amid palpable signs that Obama earned a bounce from the Democratic National Convention.  The president had been polling at 49 percent over the last three days in Gallup's tracking, and a CNN poll released Monday showed Obama opening up a 6-point lead over Romney nationally.

Obama's approval rating also met the 50 percent mark in Tuesday's release, the fifth consectutive day at least half of respondents said they approve of the president's job performance in Gallup's tracking.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama holding nearly a 3-point lead over Romney, 48.6 percent to 45.8 percent.

  

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