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

The post-convention bounce given to President Barack Obama appears to have extended to one of the event's other stars, as a pair of polls released on Sunday show Massachusetts senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren grabbing the lead from Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).

Warren leads Brown by 2 points among likely voters in the latest release from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP), 48 percent to 46 percent, reversing a 5-point advantage the Republican incumbent held in PPP's previous survey a month ago.  The Democratic challenger and consumer watchdog opens up an even larger edge in a new poll from Western New England College, leading Brown by 6 points among likely voters, 50 percent to 44 percent.  

Each poll was conducted after the Democratic National Convention, where Warren delivered a marquee speech on the penultimate night.  The PollTracker Average, which currently shows Brown trailing by less than 2 points, illustrates Warren's rise since the beginning of the month. 



Supporters of Amendment 64 — the proposed change to Colorado's constitution that would legalize marijuana for adults 21 years and older in the state — were dealt more good news on Saturday, with a new poll showing a majority of voters in favor of the measure. 

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA and commissioned by the Denver Post, shows 51 percent of likely Colorado voters support Amendment 64, compared with 40 percent who oppose the measure.  Eight percent are undecided. 

Polls have consistently pegged Amendment 64 as a favorite to pass in November, including a survey last week from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) that showed the measure winning by 9 points.  The PollTracker Average currently shows 49.7 percent support Amendment 64, while 39.3 percent oppose.  

It remains to be seen what effect, if any, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper's public opposition to Amendment 64 will have on the campaign.  Hickenlooper, an extremely popular figure in the state, weighed in on the legalization effort earlier this week, saying in a statement, "Colorado is known for many great things — marijuana should not be one of them."  

Meanwhile, opponents to the measure moved quickly to quash any momentum provided to the pro-amendment contingent from Saturday's poll.  In a statement provided to TPM, Roger Sherman, director of the "No On 64" campaign, acknolwedged the challenges facing his side while maintaining confidence that voters will ultimately reject the amendment.

"We always knew it would be an uphill battle to fully inform Coloradans about this dangerous, deceptive amendment to our state constitution," Sherman wrote. "But we believe voters are smart enough to understand why Amendment 64 is wrong for Colorado and will vote No.”


Sailors in the U.S. Navy ceremonial guard stand over the cremains of Neil Armstrong during a burial at sea ceremony aboard the USS Philippine Sea on Friday.  Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died at the age of 82 on August 25.


(Credit: NASA / Bill Ingalls)


Sari Horowitz of The Washington Post reports:

The team of FBI agents assigned to investigate the deaths of four Americans in Libya has not been able to get into the country because of the volatile situation there, according to law enforcement officials.

U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died Tuesday night when militants overran the U.S. Consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi. The inability of FBI investigators to get to the scene and secure vital forensic evidence and interview witnesses means that the task of identifying and prosecuting the assailants will be much harder, according to former and current FBI agents.

The U.S. Department of State has installed a 24-hour monitoring team in the wake of intensifying attacks on American embassies throughout the Middle East and North Africa, Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy reports.  

Rogin quotes a senior State Department official:

"The State Department has stood up a 24-hr monitoring team to insure appropriate coordination of information and our response. In addition, our consular team is working with missions around the world to protect American citizens and issue appropriate public warden information.

"We have been monitoring events in the Middle East and North Africa intensively today, and working with our personnel and missions overseas and host governments to strengthen security in all locations and to respond effectively where protests have turned violent."

President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney are locked in a statistical dead heat in Colorado, according to a new poll released Friday afternoon. 

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA and commissioned by the Denver Post, shows Obama holding negligible 1-point lead over Romney among likely voters in Colorado, 47 percent to 46 percent — well within the poll's margin of error of four percentage points.  Obama's lead 1-point edge remains unchanged when former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who is running on the Libertarian ticket, is added to the equation.  

A survey from a pair of Democratic-leaning pollsters on Thursday showed Obama holding a 5-point lead over Romney in Colorado.  The PollTracker Average currently shows Colorado narrowly leaning toward Obama, who leads Romney there, 48.4 percent to 45.6 percent.


President Barack Obama holds a 3-point lead over Mitt Romney among likely voters nationwide, according to a new poll from CBS News and the New York Times.

The poll shows Obama leading Romney nationally, 49 percent to 46 percent, despite the fact that the Republican nominee holds solid leads among both men and independents.  

But Obama benefits from support among his key coalitions.  The president holds leads of 12 points among women, 8 points among 18-29 year olds and 21 points among voters earning less than $50,000 a year.  Friday's release represents the first time the CBS/NYT poll included a sample of likely voters in this election cycle.  The previous CBS/NYT poll — conducted in mid-July — showed Romney leading Obama by 1 among registered voters, while Friday's poll shows the president leading by 7 points among registered voters.

Although the 3-point edge is narrower than what has been shown in other post-convention national surveys, the CBS/NYT poll shows Obama hovering near the 50 percent threshold — a trend that has emerged following last week's Democratic National Convention.  The president reached the 50 percent mark in a CNN poll released earlier this week, as well as in Gallup's daily tracking poll on Tuesday.  Obama is also closing in on 50 percent in the PollTracker Average, which currently shows Obama leading Romney by 4.5 points.  The full contents of the CBS/NYT poll will be released at 6:30 p.m.


The U.S. Senate race in Virginia could not be any tighter, a poll released Thursday night shows.

According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist University poll, former Republican Sen. George Allen and ex-Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine are locked in a true dead heat, with each earning the support of 46 percent of likely voters in the Commonwealth  

Widely viewed as perhaps the most competitive race in the country, the contest between Allen and Kaine could ultimately be tied to the outcome of the presidential campaign in Virginia.  If that's the case, the Kaine camp will draw encouragement from the other side of Thursday's poll, which shows President Barack Obama holding a 5-point edge over Mitt Romney in Virginia. 

The PollTracker Average currently shows the Virginia senate race as a tossup, with Allen holding a narrow lead over Kaine, 47 percent to 45.5 percent.