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

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) holds a 5-point lead in his increasingly tight bid for a third term, according to a new poll released Friday.

In the latest new Mason-Dixon poll, Nelson earns the support of 47 percent of Florida voters, while Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL), who is widely expected to claim his party's nomination in the Aug. 14 primary, trails with 42 percent.  

The PollTracker Average currently shows the race as a tossup. Mason-Dixon conducted its poll July 9-11 using live telephone interviews with 800 registered Florida voters. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.  


Mitt Romney's campaign on Friday released a new television ad that seeks to highlight President Barack Obama's hypocrisy by resurfacing excerpts from the incumbent's speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.  

The ad — titled "What Happened?"— couples clips from Obama's nomination address four years ago in Denver, during which he decried campaign scare tactics, with present-day newspaper headlines that focus on the president's tough attacks against Romney.

President Barack Obama told CBS News Thursday that Mitt Romney's career at Bain Capital does not disqualify the presumptive Republican nominee, but that experience at the private equity firm doesn't necessarily mean he's qualified to turn around the nation's stagnant economy and job market.

"When some people question why I would challenge his Bain record, the point I've made there in the past is, if you're a head of a large private equity firm or hedge fund, your job is to make money. It's not to create jobs. It's not even to create a successful business - it's to make sure that you're maximizing returns for your investor. Now that's appropriate. That's part of the American way. That's part of the system. But that doesn't necessarily make you qualified to think about the economy as a whole, because as president, my job is to think about the workers. My job is to think about communities, where jobs have been outsourced."


Reacting to the mysterious medical leave by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday that there is no need for the nine-term Congressman to rush back to work.

“I know a lot of people are saying, ‘When is he going to get back to work?’ Why should he get back to work to a Congress that does no work?” Emanuel said. “Why rush it? Last time I checked, Congress had their second repeal of the health care bill. Why rush? Take care of your health. Guess what: Congress is going to be there. Hopefully when you return they’ll be doing real work.”

Jackson's aides announced Wednesday that the represenative, whose district encompasses the South Side of Chicago, is at an undisclosed treatment facility receiving treatment for an unspecified mood disorder.  

President Barack Obama has a 7-point cushion over Mitt Romney, according to a new poll from Pew Research Center released Thursday.

Fifty percent of registered voters nationwide prefer Obama, compared with 43 percent who plan to vote for Romney. The president has held a lead over Romney in every Pew poll this year. It's also the second consecutive Pew survey that shows Obama polling at 50 percent. In Pew's June survey, Obama edged the presumptive Republican nominee, 50 percent to 46 percent.

Pew also found that Romney has lost ground on the issue that has been central to his campaign: the economy. In June, 49 percent of voters said Romney was the best candidate to improve the nation's beleaguered economy, compared with 41 percent who gave the nod to Obama.

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When Mitt Romney's pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act drew jeers from the audience at the NAACP convention on Wednesday, the presumptive Republican nominee defended his remarks with an old stand-by -- a survey he has trotted out on the campaign trail numerous times.

"You know, there was a survey of the Chamber of Commerce," Romney said as the boos subsided. "They carried out a survey of their members, about 1,500 surveyed, and uh, they asked them what effect 'Obamacare' would have on their plans, and three-quarters of them said it made them less likely to hire people."

It was hardly the first time Romney went to that well to justify one of his most ubiquitous campaign promises. But that survey -- often Romney's central piece of evidence to prove "Obamacare" is a job-killer -- has some glaring flaws.

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More Americans approve than disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, a new poll from Pew Research Center shows.  

The poll, released Thursday, shows that 47 percent of respondents approve of the legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, while 43 percent disapprove.  That marks only the second time since April 2010 — when Pew started tracking support for the law — that approval of the Affordable Care Act is above water.  

The first time occurred in March of this year, when Pew found that 47 percent of respondents approved the health care overhaul, compared with 45 percent who disapproved.  Thursday's poll shows that there has been movement in public opinion of "Obamacare" over the last month.  In Pew's June survey, 43 percent approved of the law, while 48 percent disapproved.  

The PollTracker Average currently shows a sharp divide in support for the Affordable Care Act.

The vast majority of voters say that Mitt Romney's wealth will make no difference on their vote in November, according to a new poll from Gallup released Thursday. 

Seventy-five percent of registered voters say the fact that Romney's net worth exceeds $200 million does not make them any more or less likely to support the presumptive Republican nominee, while 20 percent say it makes them less likely to vote for him.  Only 4 percent are more likely to vote for Romney due to his fortune.

A new poll shows that American voters are divided over efforts by Congressional Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but they overwhelmingly concur that the law represents a tax increase.

The latest installment from Quinnipiac University shows that 55 percent of American voters believe that the health care overhaul amounts to a tax hike, while 36 percent believe it does not.  Ever since the high court's ruling last month, Republicans — taking a cue from the majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts — have been quick to decry the law widely known as "Obamacare" as a substantial tax increase.

But that doesn't mean voters are marching in lockstep with Republicans in the House of Representatives, who on Wednesday voted to repeal the law for the 33rd time.  Forty-nine percent of those surveyed by Quinnipiac believe Congress should repeal the Affordable Care Act, compared with 43 percent who believe that Washington should let the law stand.  Support for repeal has steadily slipped over the course of the year, while opposition has grown.  In Quinnipiac's late February survey, 52 percent supported repeal, while 39 percent were opposed.  The late April survey showed 51 percent supported Congressional efforts to repeal, compared with 38 percent who thought it should be left alone.

Voters are likewise divided over the Supreme Court's ruling last month: 48 percent agree with the decision to uphold the law, while 45 percent disagree.  



President Barack Obama holds a solid lead over Mitt Romney in Wisconsin, according to a new poll from Marquette University Law School released Wednesday.  

Obama earns the support of 51 percent of likely Badger State voters, while Romney trails with 43 percent.  The results of the Marquette poll dovetail with those from a different survey released Wednesday by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP), which showed the president with a 6-point lead over the presumptive Republican nominee in Wisconsin.  Obama led Romney, 49-43 percent, in Marquette's survey from early June.

Democrats have carried Wisconsin in the last six presidential elections, but Republicans were emboldened after Gov. Scott Walker's decisive victory in last month's recall election.  The PollTracker Average shows Obama on solid footing there, currently holding a 7-point lead over Romney.