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

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.


A new ABC News/Washington Post poll out Tuesday shows President Barack Obama holding a slim advantage over Mitt Romney among likely voters -- a slight change from where the race stood before the Republican and Democratic conventions.

The poll, conducted entirely after the Democratic National Convention, shows Obama with a narrow 49-48 percent lead over Romney among likely voters. In the previous ABC/WaPo survey released late last month -- and conducted before each party's convention -- Romney held a 2-point edge among likely voters.

While Obama enjoyed a nominal 3-point bump among likely voters after the conventions, he saw a larger 7-point swing among the larger pool of registered voters. The new poll gives him a 50-44 percent lead among registered voters, compared with the last ABC/WaPo in late August that gave Romney a 47-46 percent lead.

The president's lagging support with likely voters has emerged as a trend over the last month, with many pollsters having shifted away from broader samples as the campaign moves to the final stretch, although he did claim a clear post-convention bounce in a new CNN poll released Monday.

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President Barack Obama claims a comfortable lead in Minnesota, a new poll released Tuesday shows.

According to the latest poll from SurveyUSA, conducted on behalf of Twin Cities ABC affiliate KSTP-TV, Obama leads Romney among likely voters in Minnesota, 50 percent to 40 percent.  The 10-point gap represents breathing room for Obama, who held a 6-point lead in SurveyUSA's previous poll of the North Star State in July.

Democrats have carried Minnesota in every presidential election cycle since 1972.  Obama picked up the state's 10 electoral votes in 2008, defeating Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by 10 points.  

Amid growing evidence that President Barack Obama earned a post-convention bounce, a new poll released Tuesday shows that voters think the Democrats put on a better confab than the Republicans.  

The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP), conducted on behalf of Daily Kos and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), shows that 49 percent of likely voters nationwide believe that the Democrats had a more successful convention, compared with 35 percent who think the Republican convention was more successful. 

Obama opened up a 6-point lead in a new CNN poll released Monday, perhaps the strongest sign yet that the incumbent benefitted from his party's gathering in Charlotte, N.C. far more than Mitt Romney did from the Republican National Convention held in Tampa, Fla. the week before.  

Forty-three percent of Americans are more likely to vote for President Barack Obama in the wake of the Democratic National Convention — slightly more than those who were moved to vote for Mitt Romney after the Republican National Convention — while Obama's speech also received higher marks than Romney's, according to a new poll released Monday by Gallup.

Forty percent said they were more likely to vote for the GOP ticket of Romney and Paul Ryan after the RNC. Thirty-eight percent said the DNC made them less likely to vote for the president, while 20 percent said the convention made no difference on their vote.

Obama's Thursday night speech earned a rating of either "excellent" or "good" by 43 percent of respondents, compared with 38 percent who said the same of Romney's nomination address — the lowest rating given to a nominee's convention speech since Gallup started tracking it in 1996.  

Neither candidate came close to matching the public's favorable response to former President Bill Clinton's speech on Wednesday night at the DNC.  Fifty-six percent rated Clinton's speech — in which he formally nominated Obama for a second term — as "good" or "excellent."


U.S. House Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M. 01) leads former Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson in their bid for New Mexico's open U.S. Senate seat, according to a new poll released Monday.

The poll, conducted by Research and Polling Inc. on behalf of the Albuquerque Journal, shows Heinrich holding a 7-point lead over Wilson among likely voters in the state, 49 percent to 42 percent.  Despite trailing Wilson among independent and white voters, Heinrich gets a big boost from Latino voters in the state, while also holding a solid 9-point edge among voters in the Albuquerque metro region.  The two candidates are vying to replace outgoing Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman, who announced last year that he would not seek a sixth term.

Heinrich currently leads Wilson by 7 points in the PollTracker Average, 48.7 percent to 41.7 percent.


President Barack Obama expressed regret to author Bob Woodward for taking pointed shots at Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's much-ballyhooed budget proposal at a major speech he delivered last year, according to ABC News.

In a July interview with Woodward — whose book on the fiscal battles between the president and Republicans on Capitol Hill, "The Price of Politics," will be released on Tuesday — Obama said it was a "mistake" to castigate Ryan and his budget, claiming that he was unaware that the House Budget Committee chairman would be in attendance at the speech in April of 2011.  Obama also incorrectly referred to Mitt Romney's running mate as "Jack Ryan" during the interview.  

From ABC News:

"I'll go ahead and say it – I think that I was not aware when I gave that speech that Jack Ryan was going to be sitting right there," the president told Woodward according to audio transcripts of their conversations, provided to ABC News.

"And so I did feel, in retrospect, had I known – we literally didn't know he was going to be there until – or I didn't know, until I arrived. I might have modified some of it so that we would leave more negotiations open, because I do think that they felt like we were trying to embarrass him," Obama continued. "We made a mistake."

Their speeches at the Democratic National Convention widely praised, first lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton are both extremely popular in the crucial swing states of Ohio and North Carolina, according to a pair of polls released late Sunday night.

The latest releases from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows that Obama and Clinton each notch favorability ratings near the 60 percent threshold in the two battlegrounds. In Ohio, 57 percent of likely voters say they have a favorable opinion of the first lady and the 42nd president. Fifty-five percent of North Carolina voters view Obama favorably, while 59 percent have a favorable view of Clinton. Clinton's national favorability rating is even higher. According to a USA Today/Gallup poll released last week, 69 percent of American adults view Clinton favorably.  

Sunday's poll shows that other DNC speakers battle low name recognition in the two purple states. At least 50 percent of voters in Ohio and North Carolina have no opinion of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Massachusetts Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren, while at least 80 percent of voters in both states are unfamiliar with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has been pegged as a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

President Barack Obama's base is weary. His opposition is fired up. On the day of his speech at the Democratic National Convention, and with just two months left until Election Day, his task is clear: Get supporters to the polls.

To that end, the president has used the bully pulpit in recent months to mobilize the disparate coalitions that helped power him to victory in 2008.

In the spring, Obama took on House Republicans over rising student loan rates, part of an effort to motivate young voters who proved instrumental to his win four years ago.

His endorsement of same-sex marriage has emerged as an organizing and fundraising tool for the campaign within the LGBT community.

The June directive to implement parts of the DREAM Act helped Obama expand an already massive lead among Latino voters.

Obama and the entire Democratic Party have for months highlighted Republican positions on contraception and abortion to widen their lead among women.

And the president is hoping that black voters -- a contingent that has been unwavering in its support of Obama -- will again turn out en masse this November.

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