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

Mitt Romney is weighing in on the U.S. Senate race in Florida, endorsing Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL).  

Mack is currently battling George LeMieux, a former senator, in a Republican primary. The primary will be held on Aug. 14, with the winner earning the right to take on two-term incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) in the general election.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll reveals that voters are split when it comes to one of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's key campaign pledges. 

Among registered voters nationwide, the poll shows that 41 percent have a favorable impression of Romney's vow to repeal the health care reform law — colloquially referred to as "Obamacare" — that was passed and signed into law in 2010, while 42 percent have an unfavorable view of the proposal.  But the former Massachusetts governor's plan is unpopular among independents, with 47 percent saying they view Romney's call for repeal unfavorably and only 33 percent saying they have a favorable view.  

The results are somewhat surprising given that polls routinely show clear majorities favor repeal of the new health care law. The TPM Poll Average currently shows strong support for repeal.  


Republicans have decried President Barack Obama’s policy proposals as socialist, anti-business and tantamount to class warfare, but if the results of a new poll are any indication, independent voters may have a different response to Obama’s populist posturing: do more.

A survey conducted by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) and commissioned by the Campaign for a Fair Settlement, a coalition of various organizations seeking to hold certain banks accountable for their roles in the housing foreclosure crisis, shows that independent voters in five potential battleground states would like to see the Obama administration do more to hold banks accountable and police Wall Street.  The five states included in the survey — Nevada, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — will not only figure prominently in the 2012 presidential election; they were also among the most acutely affected by the housing crisis and ensuing recession.  

Significant majorities in all five states believe that some Wall Street executives were guilty of criminal actions in triggering the economic meltdown.  Moreover, majorities in each state also believe that the Obama administration — which has not filed a criminal charge against any top executive of a major financial institution —has not gone far enough in holding the banks accountable for their role in the housing collapse.  

“The President should heed the message independent voters are sending and show stronger leadership on housing,” Nish Suvarnakar, campaign manager for Campaign for a Fair Settlement, said in a statement. “Obama can help homeowners, his campaign and the overall economy by more aggressively pursuing banks’ criminal acts and supporting meaningful solutions for underwater homeowners.”

A survey from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows President Barack Obama on solid footing in New Hampshire, a state that is viewed as friendly territory to presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

In the automated poll of registered voters, Obama tops Romney, 53 percent to 41 percent.  Romney also gets no boost from New Hampshire's junior United States Senator, Kelly Ayote.  When Ayote is added to Romney's ticket in a hyopthetical general election matchup, the Democratic ticket of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden still wins, 52 percent to 42 percent.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has deep roots in New England.  He has a home in New Hampshire and those personal connections helped him seal a landslide victory in the state's Republican primary in January.  Democrats have won New Hampshire in the previous two presidential contests.  The TPM Poll Average currently gives Obama a clear lead in the state.  


A new Quinnipiac poll shows that President Barack Obama is a strong favorite to win New Jersey in November — even when he is matched up against the Garden State's popular governor.

In the statewide poll of registered voters, Obama bests presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, 49 percent to 39 percent.  For a state that has voted Democratic in the past five presidential elections, that is not necessarily surprising.  But the poll gets intriguing when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) enters the equation.  When Quinnipiac asked voters to decide between the incumbent ticket of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and a Republican ticket of Romney and Christie, the president's team still comes out on top — 50 percent to 42 percent.  

While Christie is popular among New Jersey voters, so is Obama.  The governor, who has achieved star status with national Republicans, is viewed favorably by 53 percent of his state's voters; only 39 percent have an unfavorable view.  Obama, meanwhile, is viewed favorably by 54 percent of New Jersey voters, while 41 percent view the president unfavorably.  

The TPM Poll Average tells a similar story: Obama is highly likely to claim New Jersey's 14 electoral votes, regardless of who makes up the second half of Romney's ticket.


A CBS News/New York Times poll released Monday evening confirmed that most people were unfazed by President Barack Obama's public support of same-sex marriage. But the poll shed light on another development that could give the Obama re-election team pause: among those who were affected by his much-publicized announcement, 26 percent said they are now less likely to vote for the president.

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Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama, raised questions about the legitimacy of a CBS News/New York Times poll that was released Monday evening.

Appearing on MSNBC Tuesday morning, Cutter dismissed the results of the poll, which showed that a majority of Americans believe Obama's public support of same-sex marriage was politically motivated, calling the methodology of the survey "significantly biased."  

The poll was a "callback survey," meaning that the sample included registered voters who were interviewed for an April CBS/NYT survey. Critics of that methodology argue that it can potentially give more weight to enthusiastic voters who are eager to give their opinion.  


A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that the public is divided over President Barack Obama's recent announcement that he supports same-sex marriage.  

According to the nationwide survey of American adults, 46 percent have a favorable view of the president's announcement, while 47 percent responded unfavorably.  In many ways, the outcome of the poll mirrors the divide in public opinion of same-sex marriage, but there could be other factors at work.  There is some evidence to suggest that many Americans believe Obama was politically motivated.

Among African-Americans interviewed for the survey, 54 percent said they view Obama's announcement favorably, a far cry from the 41 percent who said they support same-sex marriage in an ABC/WaPo poll last year.  

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) has signed an executive order declaring that his state will provide legal recognition to same-sex couples married elsewhere. 

Civil unions are permitted in Rhode Island, but gay marriage is not. The governor's order ensures that same-sex couples married outside the state will be afforded the same rights and recognition as heterosexual marriages.  

Chafee, who served Rhode Island in the Senate as a Republican until he was defeated in 2006, said that he will continue to make an appeal for full marriage equality in the state.