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 a 6-point lead over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University released Tuesday.

The poll shows the president with the support of 46 percent of registered voters in the Keystone State, while Romney trails with 40 percent support.  But the survey also contains a crucial caveat for Obama.

From Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute:

President Barack Obama is holding his ground against Gov. Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania. While almost four-fifths of voters, including 58 percent of Republicans, say the President is a likable person, where the rubber meets the road on the campaign trail - the economy - Romney has the lead.

The TPM Poll Average shows Obama currently holding a comfortable lead over Romney in Pennsylvania, an advantage that has grown since the beginning of the year.


Reuters reports:

Syrian forces shelled opposition strongholds in the central province of Homs and eastern Deir al-Zor on Monday and clashed with rebels in violence which killed 29 people across the country, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The British-based Observatory, which monitors Syria through a network of sources inside the country, said six members of the security forces were killed in fighting with rebels in the town of Al-Ashaara in Deir al-Zor.

Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic Monday to win a record-setting seventh French Open championship.  In a match that was delayed due to rain on Sunday and resumed Monday, Nadal captured the title in four-sets, 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

A majority of union workers intend to vote for President Barack Obama but presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney claims the support of about one-third of the coalition that has long been aligned with the Democratic Party, according to a poll released Monday.

The latest survey from Gallup shows that 57 percent of union workers say they will support Obama in the 2012 presidential race, while 35 percent say they will vote for Romney.  Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and private equity firm executive, holds a slight edge over Obama among non-union workers, 48 percent to 44 percent.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) continues to enjoy enormous popularity among his constituents in the Empire State, according to a new poll released Monday.

The latest Siena College Research Institute poll shows that the first-term Democratic governor is viewed favorably by 70 percent of registered voters in New York, while only 24 percent view him unfavorably.  Additionally, 60 percent give Cuomo a positive job performance rating.  

Still, New Yorkers remain divided on a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana that is being pushed by Cuomo and is expected to be taken up by the state assembly this week.  Among those surveyed, 40 percent say they support treating the sale and possession of marijuana as a crime, while 39 percent are opposed.  

The TPM Poll Average shows that Cuomo, who was elected in a landslide over Republican Carl Paladino in 2010, has maintained an extremely strong favorability rating throughout his first term. 


CNN reports:

Federal health officials say 14 people in six states have been sickened by the same strain of E. coli over the past couple of months.

According to CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell, 14 cases of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O145 infection with the same DNA fingerprint were identified in six states. "Their illness onsets range from April 15 to May 12, 2012," she said. "Three ill persons have been hospitalized. One death has been reported in Louisiana."

Cases have been reported in Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and Florida, according to local health departments and media reports. The CDC would not reveal which other two states were reporting cases.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) latched onto remarks from President Barack Obama's Friday morning news conference, during which Obama said that the private sector is "doing fine" but problems remain due to cuts to state and local governments.

"My question would be to the president, are you kidding?" Cantor said during a press conference held jointly with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) Friday afternoon on Capitol Hill. "Did he see the job numbers that came out last week? The private sector is not doing fine. And, frankly, I'd ask the president to stop engaging in the blame game. It's not because of the headwinds of Europe. It's not, despite his attempt and his party's attempts here in Congress, it is not because of House Republicans. It's because of the failed stimulus policies and other items in his agenda that small businesses in this country just aren't growing."

President Barack Obama said his administration has "zero tolerance" for those who divulge classified national security information.  Responding to a question about alleged leaks from his administration's intelligence apparatus during a news conference Friday, Obama said he will punish anyone within his administration who discloses such information.

"We have mechanisms in place where if we can root out folks who have leaked, they will suffer consequences," Obama said.

But the president took umbrage to the accusation that his administration deliberately leaked information regarding cyber attacks against the Iranian nuclear program and his much-publicized "kill list."

"The notion that my White House would purposely release classifed national security information is offensive," he said.  




President Barack Obama said that the United States will help its European allies navigate their way through the poor economic climate Friday during a news conference in the White House briefing room.  But the U.S. will not tell Europe what to do, the president said.  

"But you know, what we've tried to do is to be constructive, to frame this as us not scolding them or telling them what to do but give them advice based on our experiences here and having stabilized a financial situation effectively," Obama said.  "What we can do is prod, advise, suggest, but ultimately they have to make these decisions."