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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

Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney will be joined by former rival Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump at a campaign event on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

The event, which will be held at Trump's hotel located on the Las Vegas strip, is coupled with a fundraising contest launched by the Romney campaign on Thursday.  Supporters who donate to the presumptive Republican nominee's campaign will be entered in a raffle for a prize package that includes dinner with Romney and Trump.

Trump endorsed Romney in February during a press conference that was also held at the real estate magnate's Las Vegas hotel.  

 

A new poll shows that Americans are more likely to identify themselves as conservative on both economic and social issues.

That was the outcome of Gallup's annual "Values and Beliefs" poll, which surveyed adults aged 18 and over nationwide from May 3 to May 6.  

Among those who participated in the poll, more twice as many described themselves as conservative on the issue of the economy as liberal: 46 percent to 20 percent.  On social issues, 38 percent identify themselves as conservative while 28 percent call themselves liberal.  

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that most Americans believe presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney would be a better president for financial institutions and the wealthy while a slight majority pegs President Barack Obama as the better candidate for the middle class.

The poll examines how Americans feel about the economy — unquestionably the bellwether issue in the 2012 presidential campaign — as well as their perceptions of the two candidates. Among those surveyed, 65 percent believe Romney would do more to advance the interests of wealthy Americans, while only 24 percent believe Obama would do more on that front.  

The venture capitalist turned Massachusetts governor is viewed as the candidate who would do more to advance the interests of financial institutions by a similarly large margin, 56 percent to 32 percent.  When asked who would do more to advance the interests of middle class Americans, 51 percent give the edge to Obama while 42 percent say Romney would do more.  

Despite this ostensibly favorable outcome in the poll, the president is still locked in an extremely competitive campaign with Romney — a reflection of the economic pessimism that still pervades the country.  

From ABC News:

Other elements also will inform the economic debate in the months ahead. More people think new regulations on financial institutions are too weak rather than too strong, by a 15-point margin, 38 to 23 percent. More also feel that unfairness in the economic system that favors the wealthy is a bigger problem than overregulation that stifles free enterprise.

Both those may help Obama, but broader economic discontent works against him. And the public divides on whether or not they feel they have a fair chance to get ahead, a weak report on the American dream that reflects the still-sour public mood after four-plus years of downturn.

An endorsement of same-sex marriage was long considered risky for President Obama because of the expected backlash from the African-American community. Few seemed to consider the alternative, which polling suggests is playing out instead: Rather than changing their minds about the president, some black voters are reconsidering gay marriage.

A pair of polls released in the last week suggest Obama's highly publicized announcement may have helped trigger a shift in attitudes among African-Americans, a historically socially conservative voting bloc, in states where same-sex marriage has been at the forefront of public debate. On Thursday, Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) released the results of a survey showing that the state law legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland is a strong favorite to be upheld by voters in November, with 57 percent of likely voters saying they will vote for the referendum and only 37 percent intending to vote against.

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This might be Mitt Romney's classiest fundraising effort yet.  

Romney's campaign is urging supporters to make a donation for the chance to win a prize package that includes a dinner with the presumptive Republican nominee and Donald Trump. The winner will also receive airport transportation in "the Trump Vehicle," a free stay at Trump International Hotel & Tower New York and a tour of the board room used in Trump's NBC reality series, "The Celebrity Apprentice."  

Trump, who has emerged as one of President Barack Obama's most outspoken critics, endorsed Romney in February.  

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has endorsed Ted Cruz in the increasingly competitive Republican primary for open U.S. Senate seat in Texas.

"Ted Cruz is spellbinding, a tremendous orator and principled," Santorum said on Glenn Beck's radio show. "Understands these issues at his core. We need people who can motivate and lead. Ted has that capability."

Cruz, the state's former solicitor general and a tea party favorite, has already won the endorsement of Sarah Palin.  Cruz is viewed as the top challenger to state Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, with both candidates vying for the seat being vacated by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R).

(h/t CNN

A new poll released Thursday should serve as an encouraging sign for gay rights advocates in Marryland who are campaigning to keep a state law that legalized same-sex marriage on the books.

The statewide poll, conducted by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) on behalf of Marylanders for Marriage Equality, shows that 57 percent of likely voters intend to vote for the referendum to uphold the law that was signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) in March.  Only 37 percent of likely voters are plan to vote against the law.

The poll also finds a significant shift in opinion among African-American voters in Maryland, which has played a large role in the measure's emergence as a favorite to pass.  

From PPP

The movement over the last two months can be explained almost entirely by a major shift in opinion about same-sex marriage among black voters. Previously 56% said they would vote against the new law with only 39% planning to uphold it. Those numbers have now almost completely flipped, with 55% of African Americans planning to vote for the law and only 36% now opposed.

The latest NBC/Marist survey of Virginia released Thursday shows Tim Kaine holding a six-point lead over George Allen in the race for the Commonwealth's open U.S. Senate seat.

Among registered voters statewide, the state's former Gov. Kaine tops Allen, who represented Virginia in the Senate from 2001-2007, 49 percent to 43 percent.  After his gubernatorial term ended in 2010, Kaine became the chair of the Democratic National Committee, a post he left last year to launch his campaign.  The two candidates are vying to replace Sen. Jim Webb (D), who defeated Allen in 2006 and announced last year that he will step down after his first term in office.

The PollTracker Average of the race mirrors the results of the NBC/Marist survey, with Kaine currently enjoying a roughly six point lead over Allen.

 

A new Quinnipiac poll of Florida shows that two-term Democratic  Sen. Bill Nelson could be in the fight of his life in his matchup against U.S. House Rep. Connie Mack (R).

The statewide poll of registered voters gives Mack a narrow one percentage point lead over Nelson, 42 percent to 41 percent — within the survey's margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.

Mack, who represents Florida's 14th Congressional District, is the heavy favorite to win the Republican Party's nomination in August.  In the Quinnipiac poll, he claims the support of 40 percent of Republicans.  No other GOP candidate tops ten percent.  

The PollTracker Average currently gives Nelson a razor-thin lead.

 

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