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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

A new poll shows an ever-tightening race developing in the Republican Senate primary in Texas.

The latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune internet survey found Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst holding a single-digit lead over tea party upstart Ted Cruz, 40 percent to 31 percent.  Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert polls at 17 percent, while no other candidate in the crowded field breaks the ten-percent threshold.   If no candidate eclipses 50 percent in the May 29 primary, the race will shift to a runoff on July 31.  

Previous polls have shown Dewhurst with a sizable lead over the rest of the field, but the University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll may reflect a fast-changing race.  Cruz, the former solicitor general, has won the endorsements of Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).  An upset over Dewhurst would represent a second major victory for the tea party in 2012, after Richard Mourdock upended Sen. Dick Lugar in the Indiana Republican Senate primary earlier this month.  Cruz and Dewhurst are vying to replace incumbent Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), who announced that she will not seek a fourth term.  

A new USA Today/Gallup poll out Monday found that Americans are split between President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney when it comes to the three most important economic issues currently facing the United States.  

Over 80 percent of those surveyed in the nationwide poll identified the cost of health care, the federal budget deficit and unemployment as the three most important economic issues today.  

Obama and Romney each have strengths in the three crucial areas.  The president is favored over Romney on the issue of health care costs, 51 percent to 44 percent.  Romney, however, is clearly the preferred candidate on the issue of the federal deficit and debt, with the former Massachusetts besting Obama on that front, 54 percent to 39 percent.  But on the issue of unemployment, so often a metric for the state of this presidential race, the two candidates are tied.  

During a speech Thursday in Chicago, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice insisted that she will not be presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's running mate. 

“Not going to happen,” Rice said. “I love policy, I don’t really love politics."

In recent weeks, Rice has been pegged as a dark horse veep pick for the Republican ticket.  

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $6.9 million in April, eclipsing the fundraising haul by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) by roughly a half million dollars.

The DCCC raised $6.48 million in April and has $25 million in cash on hand.  Conversely, the NRCC has $31.3 million in the bank.  

The Washington, D.C. home of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was burglarized earlier this month, The Washington Post reports.  

According to The Post, the burglar entered Breyer's home — located in the historic D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown — by breaking a plane of glass near the front door.  Silver candlesticks valued at $500 and a silver set worth $2,500 were stolen.  No one was present at the time of the theft.  

It has been an ill-fated year for Breyer, who was robbed at machete-point in his Caribbean vacation home in February.   

After weeks of intense debate among members of the Catholic Church, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will address graduates of Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute Friday morning.  

After the Jesuit, Washington, DC-based school invited Sebelius to speak earlier this month, a conservative think tank circulated a petition protesting the invitation.  Earlier this week, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of the region encompassing Washington, criticized Georgetown's selection of Sebelius.

Georgetown, of course, was already at the center of another intense debate that occured at the cross-section of religion and politics earlier this year, when law student Sandra Fluke's support for contraception coverage prompted conservative firebrand Rush Limbaugh to call her a "slut."

President Barack Obama is set to unveil a new initiative Friday that will seek private investment in various agricultural projects intended to lift up to 50 million African people out of poverty, Richard Wolf reports.

The announcement, which will come during an event in Washington today on African food security, will coincide with this weekend's G8 Summit, which will commence later today at Camp David.  

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