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

A new poll released Wednesday shows President Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by a 2-to-1 margin among voters  unlikely to show up to the polls in November.  

The latest survey from USA Today and Suffolk University shows Obama leading Romney, 43 percent to 18 percent, among all so-called "unlikely voters." Among the two-thirds of unlikely voters who are registered to vote, Obama holds a comparable lead, 43 percent to 20 percent.  The president's lead over Romney among the unregistered voters is even larger: 43 percent to 14 percent.

The poll finds a high rate of disenchantment and a low level of political engagement among the unlikely voters. Six in 10 say they tune out politics because "nothing ever gets done" and 39 percent know the name of the current vice president, Joe Biden.  

President Barack Obama holds a 3-point lead over Mitt Romney in Ohio, and an even larger edge among the state's independents, a new poll released Tuesday shows.

The latest release from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Obama leading Romney among likely Ohio voters, 48 percent to 45 percent -- virtually unchanged from PPP's previous survey of Ohio in late June. Obama is also holding his lead among Ohio women, while receiving a significant bump among independents in the state. The president and Romney were locked at 42 percent among independents in June; Obama has now opened up a 10-point lead with independent Ohio voters, 49 percent to 39 percent.

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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has ascended to political stardom among conservatives for his staunch opposition to big federal spending programs, but the newly minted Republican vice presidential nominee sought grant money from the 2009 stimulus package he has consistently derided.  

The Boston Globe reports today that Ryan penned four letters to Energy Secretary John Chu in 2009 to request millions of dollars for two Wisconsin conservation groups through the federal government's sweeping American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, often simply referred to as the stimulus package.  

Both groups ultimately secured the funds — including one that received a $20 million grant — but the letters were submitted at a time when Ryan was in the vanguard of the Republican Party's opposition to the federal program, decrying it as an example of wasteful government spending.  

President Barack Obama holds a narrow 3-point edge in New Hampshire, according to a new poll released Monday.

In the latest poll from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, 49 percent of likely Granite State voters support Obama, while 46 percent prefer Mitt Romney.  New Hampshire is seen as conducive political territory to Romney, although Democrats have carried the state in four of the last five presidential elections.  

The presumptive Republican nominee was governor of a neighboring state, Massachusetts, and his family maintains a home in New Hampshire.  In January, Romney won the state's Republican primary in resounding fashion.  

The PollTracker Average shows New Hampshire currently leaning toward Obama, who leads Romney, 49 percent to 45.7 percent.

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were all knotted up nationally in the days before Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was added to the Republican ticket, according to a new poll released Monday.

The latest POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground poll shows Obama leading Romney by only one, 48 percent to 47 percent.  Romney claims a slight edge on the question of which candidate would do a better job handling the economy, 49 percent to 44 percent, while Obama is widely considered to be the better candidate to stand up for the middle class, 54 percent to 40 percent.  

Republican pollster Tarrange Group and Democratic firm Lake Research Partners conducted the poll on behalf of POLITICO and George Washington University August 5-9 using live phone interviews with 1,000 likely voters nationwide.  Its margin of error is 3.1 percentage points.  

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama leading Romney, 48.4 percent to 42.4 percent.  Obama opened up his solid national advantage last week with the release of three polls in which he led Romney by at least 7-points.  

Vice presidential picks don't typically swing elections one way or the other, the conventional wisdom goes, but a recent poll suggests that the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) could boost the Republican ticket in Wisconsin.

A survey conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) in early July -- before Mitt Romney made his pick -- showed President Barack Obama besting the presumptive Republican nominee in Wisconsin, 50 percent to 44 percent. The 6-point lead served as breathing room for the president after the race had tightened in the Badger State earlier in the summer.

Gov. Scott Walker's (R) triumph in the June recall election gave Republicans a shot in the arm, prompting speculation that the state was in play. Democrats have carried Wisconsin in every presidential election since 1984, but even the Obama campaign seemed to take notice of the GOP's momentum there, listing the state as a toss-up in June.

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If he were to run as a Democrat in Florida's 2014 gubernatorial election, Charlie Crist would edge Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL), a new poll released Friday shows.

The latest poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows that Crist leads the hypothetical match-up, 44 percent to 41 percent.  Crist was a member of the Republican Party when he served as the state's governor from 2007 until 2011.  In 2010, he ran for U.S. Senate as an independent, ultimately falling to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).  Friday's poll shows that 42 percent of voters believe that Crist should become a Democrat, while only 27 percent believe he should not switch parties.

Elected in 2010 after spending over $70 million of his own funds during the campaign, Scott has battled anemic approval ratings throughout his first term.  Only 39 percent of voters approve of his job performance in PPP's survey, while 51 percent disapprove.  The PollTracker Average currently shows Scott's approval rating well under water, with 38.3 percent approving and 51.7 percent disapproving.


The A.P. reports:

The Obama administration is readying new sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and its allies.

Senior officials traveling with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she wraps up a nine-nation tour of Africa say that fresh sanctions aimed at hastening Assad's ouster are imminent.

If Donald Trump's claims that he will play a prominent role at the 2012 Republican National Convention are true, Reince Priebus doesn't know anything about it.  

Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, offered a vague response when asked by CNN on Friday if the real estate mogul and outspoken birther was involved in the plans for the quadrennial party confab.

"Well, for one thing, Donald Trump is a good friend of our party and I'm thankful to Donald Trump for the work he's done for us and for Governor Romney," Priebus said. "I don't know right now what he's going to do at the convention. But I do know that he's important to us and I know that he's somebody that we appreciate. Because he's telling the truth as far as where we're at in this economy. That's what we need to talk about."

Organizers of the 2012 Democratic National Convention are considering scheduling moderate Republicans on at least two of the three nights, POLITICO reports.  

The plan would include appearances by notable Republicans, both from the business community and the world of politics:

Convention planners are considering featuring a centrist Republican leader on at least two of the three nights. Nightly remotes from swing states may include a CEO or “major Republican.” On Wednesday night, a “notable GOP woman” is among the possible participants. And on the final night, Democrats may include a Republican leader — someone like former Sens. John Warner or Chuck Hagel — or a GOP woman.


POLITICO also reports that the convention will feature testimonials from "real people" who will convey how they have benefitted from President Barack Obama's policies.  Other plans include appearances by two people who will detail their personal experience with a polarizing issue — what planners are calling a "social contrast" — with one celebrating Obama's actions, and the other decrying the policies advocated by Mitt Romney.  But DNC organizers are cautious when it comes to highlighting gay marriage.  According to convention documents obtained by POLITICO, the same-sex marriage social contrast will include parents with a gay son or daughter, rather than a gay couple.  

The convention is planned to run three nights on September 4-6 in Charlotte, N.C.