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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

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.  

The Mitt Romney campaign today released its inaugural television ad of the general election season, offering a glimpse of what the first day of a Romney presidency would look like.

In the spot, appropriately titled "Day One," a narrator describes how "President Romney" will execute a number of his most salient campaign pledges right away: approval of the Keystone Pipeline, introduction of tax cuts and repeal of the Affordable Care Act (widely known as "Obamacare").  

The Hill reports this morning that Mitt Romney's campaign is off to an early start in formally vetting potential running mates.  

According to the report, Beth Myers, who is conducting the search for the Romney campaign, has already begun contacting prospective veep picks.  

Newt Gingrich, who took aim at Mitt Romney's history with the private equity firm Bain Capital during the bruising Republican nomination contest, said that such attacks against the presumptive Republican nominee are ineffective.

In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday, the former House Speaker and winner of this year's South Carolina Primary said his ultimate failure as a candidate should serve as a lesson to President Barack Obama, whose campaign has begun to scrutinize Romney's career with Bain.  "That dog won't hunt," Gingrich said.  

A week after President Barack Obama publicly supported same-sex marriage — and a week removed from the state's passage of a sweeping constitutional amendment that guarantees legal recognition only to marriage between a man and a woman — there has been a decided shift in attitudes among African-American voters in North Carolina, according to a new poll.

The latest survey from the Democatic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows that 27 percent of black voters in North Carolina now support the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married, while 59 percent are opposed.  

That represents an 11-point change since PPP's final poll before last week's statewide vote on Amendment One, which was held a day before Obama's much-publicized announcement.  At that time, 20 percent of black voters were in favor of same-sex marriage, while 63 percent were opposed.  

A new poll suggests that a competitive U.S. Senate race could be developing in North Dakota.

The statewide poll of voters deemed likely to vote in the state's June primary — conducted by Essman/Research on behalf of Forum Communications Co — shows that Rep. Rick Berg (R), who was elected to Congress in 2010, leads former Democratic state attorney general Heidi Heitkamp, 51 percent to 44 percent.  Democrats and Republicans will hold their primaries on June 12, with both Berg and Heitkamp regarded as the favorites to claim their respective party's nomination.  

Berg and Heitkamp are seeking the seat being vacated by four-term incumbent Sen. Kent Conrad (D), who announced last year that he will not seek re-election.  

A new poll confirms that the race between President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney is shaping up to be a tight one.  

The poll, conducted by John Zogby on behalf of The Washington Times, shows Romney and Obama in a statistical dead heat: 43.6 percent to 43.2 percent, respectively.  Zogby, who polled likely voters nationwide May 11-12, said the survey reflects what appears to be an extremely competitive contest.  

“It’s tied. That’s pretty much where we are. The poll reveals what everybody feels,” Zogby told The Washington Times.

The TPM Poll Average paints a similar picture of the race, with Obama currently edging Romney by a razor-thin margin.

 

A clear majority of New Jersey voters favor a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll.  But those same voters overwhelmingly support Gov. Chris Christie's (R) idea to allow voters to decide the fate of the law, which he vetoed after it passed the state legislature earlier this year, through a ballot referendum in November.

In the statewide poll of registered voters, 53 said they support same-sex marriage, while 42 percent are opposed.  But 67 percent said Christie's proposal to bring the law to a statewide vote is a "good idea."  Moreover, voters are split on both Christie's veto and the prospect of a legislative override.  When asked about Christie's veto, 44 percent said the governor did the right thing, while 48 percent said it was the wrong thing to do.  

There is a nearly identical divide over how the Democratic-controlled legislature should respond: 48 percent said that state lawmakers should attempt to override Christie's veto, while 45 percent said that legislators should not pursue that option.  

The latest poll from Fox News shows that a majority of Americans are opposed to a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.  

Among registered voters nationwide, 53 percent were opposed to such an amendment, while 38 percent were in support. That's a far cry from 2004, when a Fox poll found that 52 percent of voters favored a constitutional ban, which presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney has said he supports.  

The most recent Fox poll also found that 37 percent of voters believe gay and lesbian couples should have the right to get married, while 33 percent favor a legal partnership comparable to but not labeled as marriage and 25 percent support no legal recognition.  

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