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Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in New York City. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, Tom served as assistant polling editor for TPM Media's PollTracker during the 2012 campaign. Before joining TPM, he worked on political campaigns and wrote for various publications in Minnesota and his native South Dakota. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

Reuters reports:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday the United States was reaching the limits of its patience with Pakistan because of the safe havens the country offered to insurgents in neighbouring Afghanistan.

It was some of the strongest language used by a U.S. official to describe the strained ties between Washington and Islamabad.

"It is difficult to achieve peace in Afghanistan as long as there is safe haven for terrorists in Pakistan," said Panetta, speaking in the Afghan capital Kabul where he arrived for talks with military leaders amid rising violence in the war against the Taliban and a spate of deadly attacks, including a NATO air strike said to have killed 18 villagers.

 

A new poll from Quinnipiac University released Thursday shows President Barack Obama holding a 5-point lead over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Virginia.  

The poll shows the president earning the support of 47-percent of registered voters in the Commonwealth, while Romney trails with 42-percent.  Romney's support is unchanged since Quinnipiac's previous poll of Virginia in March, while Obama is slightly down from the 50-percent level of support he enjoyed in that poll.  The latest survey, which was conducted May 30-June 4, also shows that the addition of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to the GOP ticket does not help Romney cut into Obama's 5-point edge.  Obama is buoyed by strong support from Virginia's women voters, who prefer the president over Romney in Thursday's poll, 51-percent to 35-percent.   

Obama won Virginia over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008, becoming the first Democrat to carry Old Dominion in a presidential election since 1964.  The TPM Poll Average currently shows Obama narrowly edging Romney there.

President Barack Obama will head to Los Angeles this evening for the LGBT Leadership Council Gala, an event that is expected to draw 600 people.  Tickets for the event, which will include remarks from Ellen DeGeneres, start at $1,250 per person.  A private, $25,000 per plate dinner will follow the gala at the home of Ryan Murphy, creator of the hit television show, "Glee."  

Before traveling to Los Angeles, Obama will headline a pair of fundraisers Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco.  

A new Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday shows former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon winning handily over former U.S. House Rep. Chris Shays in the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Connecticut, 59 percent to 30 percent.  

The results of Wednesday's survey show a dramatic change in the race since Quinnipiac's March poll, which showed McMahon with a smaller nine-point advantage over Shays.  Shays, who represented Connecticut's 4th Congressional District, has won the endorsement of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).  McMahon, whose husband Vince is the chairman and CEO of World Wresting Entertainment, lost to Democrat Richard Blumenthal in the 2010 U.S. Senate Race in Connecticut.  

The Republican nominee will likely face U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-CT), who holds a comfortable lead over his lone Democratic challenger in the Quinnipiac Poll.  According to the poll, Murphy holds a slim three-point lead over McMahon in a hypothetical general election matchup, 46 percent to 43 percent.  Both parties will hold their primaries on August 14.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Virginia's U.S. Senate race remains one of the most competitive contests in the 2012 election cycle, with former Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine nursing a narrow one-point advantage over ex-Sen. George Allen, 44 percent to 43 percent.  

The results of the Quinnipiac survey mesh with the TPM Poll Average, which also shows Kaine barely edging Allen.

 

Gay rights advocates might be poised for an electoral breakthrough in Minnesota, a new poll released Tuesday suggests. Voters there will decide in November the fate of a state constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage.

The poll, conducted by Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP), shows 49 percent of Minnesota voters do not believe the state constitution should be amended to ensure legal recognition for only unions between a man and a woman. Forty-three percent of voters support the amendment. That marks a stark shift since PPP's previous survey of Minnesota in January, when 48 percent of the state's voters expressed support for the amendment. The latest survey also shows that 47 percent believe same-sex marriage should be legal, the same percentage of Minnesota voters who said it should be illegal in the January poll.

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A new survey conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) and commissioned by Daily Kos and SEIU  shows 45 percent of registered voters are less likely to support Mitt Romney due to his ties with real estate magnate and reality television star Donald Trump.

Forty-four percent said the issue will not affect their vote, while only 9 percent said Romney's association with Trump makes them more likely to vote for the Republican nominee.  

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