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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

When Republicans descend upon Tampa, Fla. next week for their quadrennial confab, they'll have a familiar foe in their midst.  

The Washington Post's Rachel Weiner reports that Vice President Joe Biden will host a campaign rally in Tampa on Monday, the first day of the Republican National Convention.

A new poll released Tuesday lends credence to what Democrats -- and even some Republicans -- have warned about Paul Ryan being thrust onto the GOP ticket: Most Americans don't much care for the Wisconsin Congressman's sweeping proposal to reform Medicare.

The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP), conducted on behalf of the Daily Kos and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), shows that 45 percent of registered voters are opposed to Ryan's proposed reforms to Medicare, while 36 percent support his proposal.

A star among Republicans and the tea party, Ryan's entrance in the presidential race has rejuvenated a conservative electorate that has been slow to warm up to Mitt Romney.

The Romney camp has attempted to distance itself from the policy plank for which Ryan is best known -- his sweeping budget proposal, which included a plan to supplant Medicare for seniors with a private voucher system, that passed the House of Representatives largely along party lines earlier this year -- insisting that it's the budget put forth by the candidate at the top of the ticket that matters the most. Tuesday's poll suggests that might not please Republicans, 65 percent of whom support Ryan's plan for Medicare.

But PPP delved deeper with its next question, shifting from general language ("Do you support or oppose Paul Ryan's proposal for reforming Medicare?") to a specific reference to the Medicare voucher program -- causing support for Ryan's Medicare plan to erode even further. Sixty-three percent of voters say that Medicare should not be replaced with vouchers to allow the elderly to buy private insurance, while only 19 percent support the voucher plan.

Worse for Ryan, only 29 percent of Republicans support the voucher plan. That's higher than the 6 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of independents who support the plan, but it still represents the minority position in the GOP: 44 percent of Republicans say Medicare should not be replaced with a voucher system. Polls have consistently shown low support for Ryan's proposed changes to Medicare, underscoring the vulnerabilities in Romney's vice presidential pick.

PPP conducted its survey August 16-19 using automated telephone interviews with 1,000 registered voters nationwide. Its margin of error is 3.1 percentage points.

The presidential horse race remains tight even in the wake of Paul Ryan's entrance in the race, a new poll released Monday shows.

According to the latest Monmouth University Poll, President Barack Obama nurses a slim lead over Mitt Romney among likely voters nationwide, 46 percent to 45 percent — virtually identical to Obama's 1-point lead in Monmouth's previous national poll conducted in June.

Obama holds massive leads among Latinos and African-Americans, as well as a solid 12-point edge among women.  Romney, meanwhile, leads among white voters by 10 points and men by 4 points.  Perhaps most crucially, the presumptive Republican nominee claims a 3-point lead with independents.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama leading Romney among independent voters, 41.5 percent to 38.1 percent.  

Obama for America will release seven different radio ads Tuesday, attacking Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on a variety of different fronts — from Ryan's much-scrutinized proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher system to proposed cuts in clean energy under a Romney presidency — the campaign announced in a press release on Monday.  

The ads — specifically tailored for each state in which they will air — will run in Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.  

Although she's forcefully condemned the controversial remarks made Sunday by Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) doesn't think it would be appropriate for Republicans to find a new candidate.

Appearing on Morning Joe on Monday, McCaskill cautioned Republicans against replacing Akin, who won the party's nomination in a primary earlier this month.

"Todd Akin won by a comfortable margin and was supported by many very strongly," McCaskill said.  "I mean, he has some passionate supporters in the Republican Party...So I really think that for the national party to try to come in here and dictate to the Republican primary voters that they're going to invalidate their decision, that would be pretty radical. I think there could be a backlash for the Republicans if they did that."

The majority of voters in 12 swing states say they are not better off than they were four years ago, the latest USA Today/Gallup poll shows.

According to the poll, 56 percent of swing state voters say they are not better off than they were four years ago, compared with 40 percent who say they are better off.  The numbers are comparable to all registered voters nationwide, 55 percent of whom say they are not better off than they were four years ago.  

But despite that pervading sense of frustration, those same swing state voters are split between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney: 44 percent say they would be better off if Obama is re-elected, while 44 percent say they would be better off with a Romney presidency.  

Gallup conducted its swing state poll August 6-13 using live telephone interviews with 970 registered voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  The poll has a margin of error of four percentage points. 

Bloomberg reports:

Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray agreed to pay $358,151 to resolve U.S. regulatory claims that he reaped illegal profits from an insider-trading scheme involving his former Baltimore Orioles teammate Doug DeCinces.

Murray made $235,314 in profits after Abbott Laboratories Inc. said in January 2009 it would acquire Advanced Medical Optics Inc. through a tender offer, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in an e-mail statement today. DeCinces and three others agreed to pay $3.3 million last year to settle SEC claims they reaped a total of $1.7 million, the agency said.

One of the best switch hitters in history, Murray finished his career with more than 3,000 hits and 500 home runs — one of only three players to accomplish both feats.  Murray played with seven different clubs, but his best years came with the Baltimore Orioles, the team that drafted him.  

Jon Ralston, a political columnist for the Las Vegas Sun whose influence extends beyond Nevada, will leave the newspaper at the end of the month to launch his own online platform.  Ralston has written for the Sun for 12 years.

The USS Constitution, the nation's oldest commissioned warship widely known as "OId Iron Sides," will sail under its own power for the second time in over a century when it embarks on a 10-minute trek in Boston Harbor on Sunday.  

h/t CBS News

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan implored supporters in Springfield, Va. on Friday to help he and Mitt Romney secure the political capital necessary to implement their agenda.

"We want to earn your support," Ryan said.  "We want to deserve victory, so that when we win this election, we have the authority, the mandate from the people to get America back on track, get people going to work and get the American dream turned back on for people." 

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