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

President Barack Obama holds commanding leads among Latino voters in five states expected to be competitive in the 2012 election, according to a new poll released Friday.

The latest poll by Latino Decisions and America’s Voice surveyed Latino registered voters in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia.  In all five states, Obama has at least a 16-point lead over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.  

The president has generated considerable enthusiasm among the Latino community since last week, when he announced a directive to halt the deportation of some young undocumented immigrants.  Two days after the announcementr, Latino Decisions released a separate poll showing that 49 percent of Latino voters are more enthusiastic about Obama in the wake of his announcement.  

In a continuation of that survey, conducted through Thursday among 2,000 respondents, the percentage of Latino voters now more enthusiastic about the president has jumped to 54 percent, compared with only 11 percent who are less enthusiastic.  

The AP reports:

The judge overseeing Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse trial has thrown out three of the 51 charges in the case, leaving the former Penn State assistant football coach facing 48 counts.

Judge John Cleland has dismissed two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse related to the alleged sexual abuse of an accuser known as Victim 4. Cleland says the charges did not bear out what testimony revealed.

In his ruling, released Thursday morning, Cleland says he would have been required to set aside any convictions on those counts, because "the verdict was not supported by the evidence."

He also dismissed a count that he says was the same as another charge.

Cleland also ruled against a defense motion to dismiss five counts related to a boy who was allegedly seen with Sandusky by a janitor.

Count House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) among those who want Mitt Romney to tap Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the Republican vice presidential nominee.

"I think he'd be a pick for independents, Democrats, and Republicans," McCarthy told MSNBC's Luke Russert on Thursday.  "I'm for Paul Ryan all the way, no matter what he does."

President Barack Obama holds a 3-point lead over Mitt Romney among registered voters nationwide, according to a new poll released Thursday.

The latest installment from AP/Gfk shows Obama earning the support of 47 percent of American voters, while Romney trails with 44 percent.  That's a far cry from Wednesday's Bloomberg poll, which showed Obama with a surprising 13-point edge over the presumptive Republican nominee.  The AP/Gfk survey illustrates a sharp divide among voters over which candidate would do more to repair the nation's economy: 46 percent believe Obama would do a better job handling the economy, compared with 45 percent who think Romney is a better choice on that front.  

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama with a 1.7 percentage point advantage over Romney.

Eighteen percent of Americans say they would not support a well-qualified presidential candidate who is Mormon, according to a new poll from Gallup released Thursday.

That level of discrimination facing Mitt Romney, a former Mormon bishop, is virtually the same as it was when his father was preparing a presidential bid of his own.  Seventeen percent held a prejudice against Mormon presidential candidates in 1967.  George Romney, the late former governor of Michigan and father of the presumptive Republican nominee, ran for president in 1968.  

From Gallup:

The exact percentage of Americans who resist the idea of voting for a Mormon has varied slightly over the eight times Gallup has asked the question, typically when a Mormon was running for president, including George Romney (1968 campaign), Orrin Hatch (2000 campaign), and Mitt Romney (2008 and 2012 campaigns). The percentage opposed to a Mormon president has averaged 19% since 1967 -- from a low of 17% at several points to a high of 24% in 2007. The current 18% is down from 22% a year ago.

President Barack Obama holds a 6-point advantage over Mitt Romney in Wisconsin, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The latest survey from Marquette University Law School shows Obama earning the support of 49 percent of likely general election voters, compared with 43 percent who prefer Romney.  Democrats have carried Wisconsin in every presidential election since 1984 — including a convincing win for Obama over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) there in 2008 — but the Badger State has veered into battleground territory in the 2012 election cycle.  Republicans have been emboldened by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) decisive victory in the state's recent recall election and the Obama campaign surprised some observers when they identified the state as a toss-up earlier this month.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama with roughly a 3-point edge over Romney in Wisconsin.  

Florida voters remain cool on Republican Gov. Rick Scott but supportive of his directive to purge non-United States citizens from voter rolls, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The latest poll from Quinnipiac University shows Scott continuing to nurse a weak approval rating, with only 39 percent of Florida voters approving of the job the first-term governor is doing compared with 49 percent who disapprove. That's slightly down from Quinnpiac's previous poll last month, which also showed Scott with a negative approval rating. Scott, who was narrowly elected in 2010 over Democrat Alex Sink, has seen his popularity steadily drop since taking office.

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If the Supreme Court strikes down the health care reforms passed by Congressional Democrats and signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, voters want leaders in Washington to begin work on new legislation immediately, a new poll released Wednesday shows.

The latest AP/Gfk poll shows that 77 percent of Americans want the president and Congress to begin start working on a new bill if the Supreme Court rules the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.  Only 19 percent prefer the health care system to be left alone.  

President Barack Obama has a surprising double-digit lead over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The results of the latest poll from Bloomberg run counter to virtually every other poll of the 2012 presidential race, which has long been considered to be a neck-and-neck contest.  But Bloomberg's poll shows Obama earning the support of 53 percent of likely voters, while Romney trails with 40 percent.  

The PollTracker Average still shows a a tight race, with Obama currently edging Romney by about 4-points.