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

Registered voters nationwide narrowly trust Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama to handle Medicare, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday.

It isn't a massive advantage, but 45 percent prefer Romney to preside over the national health care system for senior citizens, compared with 42 percent who trust Obama more on the issue.

Medicare was supposed to be a problematic front for Romney following the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate earlier this month.  Ryan's much-ballyhooed federal budget proposal included a plan to ultimately change Medicare into a voucher program, something that has consistently proven to be unpopular.

From ABC/WaPo:

Overall, though, two-thirds of registered voters say Ryan’s selection will make no difference in their vote, while the rest divide essentially evenly on whether it makes them more or less likely to back the GOP ticket. And there is a risk: Registered voters by a broad 62-33 percent oppose Ryan’s proposal to restructure Medicare. To date that does not look to have impacted trust to handle the issue, about an even division between Obama and Romney. That’s in fact a plus for Romney, given the traditional Democratic advantage on Medicare. The question is how it plays out in the campaign ahead.

A poll commissioned by CNN and released Sunday night showed Obama and Romney running even on the question of who would be best to handle Medicare.

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Florida political campaigns — for candidates on both the state and national level — raised a staggering $12.8 million in one week, according to a new study from the Tampa Bay Times.

The Times calculated the fundraising haul for Florida political candidates and political committees, as well as money donated by Floridians to President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and their super PACs, from June 24 until June 30.  

While the nearly $13 million, one-week total dwarfs the entire amount raised by previous campaigns, the actual number could be even higher.  In its analysis, the Times excluded campaign contributions county-level candidates and donations made to third-party groups, which aren't legally required to disclose their donors.

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As Republicans enter their convention this week, their presidential nominee is asserting a decided edge over President Barack Obama on the all-important issue of the economy, a new poll released Monday shows.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Mitt Romney barely leading Obama among registered voters nationwide, 47 percent to 46 percent.  But while the horse race is a dead heat, Romney claims a clear advantage on the economy.  Fifty-percent of voters trust Romney to handle the nation's economy, compared with 43 percent who prefer Obama.  Voters are divided when it comes to confidence in Romney's ability to improve the nation's stagnant economy: 46 percent are confident that the economy would get back on track in a Romney presidency, compared with 52 percent who are not confident.  

That may amount to a resounding vote of confidence, but it's far better than Obama's showing on the same question.  Fifty-eight percent are not confident that a second Obama term would get the economy back on track, while 42 percent are confident in the president's ability to turn it around if re-elected.  Moreover, only 43 percent approve of Obama's job handling the economy, compared with 56 percent who disapprove.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Romney clinging to a narrow lead overall, 47 percent to 46.4 percent, while boasting a slightly larger advantage over Obama on the economy.

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Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Saturday issued a statement regarding the death of American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.  

Neil Armstrong today takes his place in the hall of heroes. With courage unmeasured and unbounded love for his country, he walked where man had never walked before. The moon will miss its first son of earth.

 I met and spoke with Neil Armstrong just a few weeks ago--his passion for space, science and discovery, and his devotion to America will inspire me through my lifetime.

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama released a statement expressing grief over the death of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon who died on Saturday.

Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Neil Armstrong. 

Neil was among the greatest of American heroes - not just of his time, but of all time.  When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation.  They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable - that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten. 

Today, Neil's spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown - including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure - sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step.


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President Barack Obama holds a 9-point lead in Pennsylvania, according to a new poll released Saturday.

The latest Inquirer Pennsylvania Poll shows Obama leading Mitt Romney among likely voters in the Keystone State, 51 percent to 42 percent.  Obama's lead can be readily explained by the disparate popularity of the two candidates.  The president is viewed favorably by 53 percent of Pennsylvania voters, compared with 47 percent who view him unfavorably.  

Romney, on the other hand, is viewed favorably by only 43 percent, while 50 percent have an unfavorable view of the former Massachusetts governor.  It's a problem that has vexed Romney's candidacy throughout the campaign, and it may well be the factor that helps Obama overcome a sluggish national economy and win re-election.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Pennsylvania favoring Obama, who leads Romney, 49.9 percent to 41.4 percent.

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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.



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"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.  


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