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 beleaguered U.S. Senate campaign of Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) was hit with another discouraging development Friday evening, with a new poll showing him trailing Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) by 9 points while being viewed unfavorably by a majority of likely Missouri voters.

According to the survey, conducted by Mason-Dixon on behalf of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Louis-based CBS affiliate KMOV-TV, McCaskill leads the embattled Akin among likely voters, 50 percent to 41 percent. That's a sharp reversal from Mason-Dixon's poll of the race a month ago before the Republican primary, when Akin held a 5-point advantage over the Democratic incumbent in a hypothetical match-up.

McCaskill's newfound lead can be largely attributed to an enormous gender gap. The poll shows the first-term senator with a massive lead over Akin among women voters, 55 percent to 37 percent. A month ago, McCaskill held a mere 1-point edge over Akin among women.

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President Barack Obama holds a 4-point lead over Mitt Romney in Colorado, according to a new poll released Friday.

The survey, released jointly by-state progressive firm Keating Research and Onsight Public Affairs, shows Obama earning the support of 48 percent of likely voters in Colorado, while Romney trails with 44 percent.  Conducted August 21-22 — over a week after Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate — the poll indicates that the addition of the House Budget Committee chairman has not given the Republican ticket much of a bump in the state, the pollsters argue.

“Clearly, Romney’s choice of Ryan as his running mate has not provided an impact on the Presidential race in Colorado,” said Chris Keating, president and founder of Keating Research. 

Obama's lead in the poll is due in no small part to his strength among Colorado women and Latinos, among whom he leads Romney by 10 and 33 points respectively.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Colorado leaning toward Obama, who leads Romney, 48.7 percent to 44.7 percent.



"The Romney-Ryan momentum is building, while the enthusiasm for Obama and Biden dwindles," writes Rick Wiley, political director for the Republican National Commitee, in a memo circulated Friday to trumpet growing energy behind the GOP ticket as the party heads to its convention next week.

Wiley cites the latest swing state poll from Quinnipiac University, CBS News and the New York Times, which showed President Barack Obama leading in Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin. Rather than highlight the head-to-head numbers from the poll, Wiley instead focuses on the survey's findings on voter enthusiasm. The poll showed Republicans with an enthusiasm advantage in all three battleground states.  


President Barack Obama is widely considered more likable than his Republican challenger, while Mitt Romney is the preferred candidate on the economy, a new poll released Friday shows.

According to the latest USA Today/Gallup survey, 54 percent of registered voters nationwide view Obama as the more likable candidate, while only 31 percent give that distinction to Romney. In fact, the poll shows the president leading Romney on a host of issues. Voters prefer Obama over Romney to handle foreign affairs, 54 percent to 40 percent, and taxes, 52 percent to 43 percent. The president is also viewed by 53 percent of voters as the better candidate to handle Medicare, which has re-emerged as a prominent issue in the campaign following Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate.  

Among the seven policy areas tested by Gallup, the presumptive Republican nominee claims the edge on only two.  Romney leads Obama on the paramount issue of the economy, 52 percent to 43 percent, as well as the federal budget deficit, 54 percent to 39 percent.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Romney with the upper hand on the economy, 46.5 percent to 42.9 percent.


Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong's decision to end his challenge to charges from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on Thursday evening was announced through a statement.  The decision prompted the USADA to take swift action, imposing a lifetime ban on Armstrong and stripping him of his Tour titles.  

In the statement, Armstrong maintained his innocence, but said he no longer has a desire to fight what he called a "witch hunt."

There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, "Enough is enough." For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.

Read the full statement here.

Ann Romney's speech at the Republican National Convention, originally scheduled to take place Monday, may now be moved to Tuesday, Politico's Dylan Byers reports

The schedule change is being considered as part of an effort to secure a larger television audience for Romney, as the big three networks — CBS, NBC and ABC — will not be broadcasting primetime coverage of the convention on Monday.

Pakastani officials said that missiles fired by the U.S. on Friday killed 18 suspected militants situated in compounds located near the Afghanistan border.  The attack comes one day after the Pakastani government summoned an American diplomat to protest the growing number of drone strikes.  

The A.P.'s Jim Vertuno reports:

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Thursday night it will strip Lance Armstrong of his unprecedented seven Tour de France titles after he declared he was finished fighting the drug charges that threaten his legacy as one of the greatest cyclists of all time.

Travis Tygart, USADA's chief executive, said Armstrong would also be hit with a lifetime ban on Friday.

Ecuador President Rafael Correa told the BBC on Thursday that the standoff involving Julian Assange "could be ended tomorrow" if Great Britain provided the Wikileaks founder with safe passage to Ecuador.  

Absent a resolution by Friday, Correa said the situation "could go on for months and years."  Assange was granted asylum at Ecuador's London embassy in June and has remained there ever since.