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

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.


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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.  


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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.  

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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.  

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A new poll from Pew suggests that President Barack Obama's public support of same-sex marriage will have a negligble effect on his re-election prospects.  

In the nationwide survey, 52 percent said last week's announcement had no effect on their opinion of the president, while 25 percent now view him less favorably and 19 percent view him more favorably.  

Among African-Americans — an often socially conservative voting bloc — the story is very much the same: 68 percent said they were unaffected by the announcement, 16 percent view the president more favorably and 13 percent view him less favorably.  

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A new SurveyUSA poll shows President Barack Obama with a comfortable lead over Mitt Romney in Minnesota.

Among registered voters, Obama leads the presumptive Republican nominee 52 percent to 38 percent.  The poll's margin of error is 4.4 percentage points.  It was commissioned by KSTP-TV in Minneapolis.  

Once thought of as a battleground state, Minnesota has not voted for a Republican presidential nominee since 1972.  Obama won the state four years ago over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) by ten percentage points.  The TPM Poll Average of the presidential race in Minnesota currently shows the president with a comparably wide lead.  


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A poll by a Democratic pollster and commissioned by a Democratic Super PAC shows Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) leading all three potential Republican challengers in the Missouri senate race.

The statewide survey was conducted last week by the Mellman Group on behalf of Majority PAC.  In the poll, McCaskill tops state treasurer Sarah Steelman (R) 45 percent to 36 percent, John Brunner 46 percent to 38 percent and Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) 44 percent to 39 percent.  Steelman is the favorite to win the Republican nomination.

The Missouri senate race is viewed as a crucial challenge for Democrats, whose hopes of retaining a majority in the United States Senate will partly depend on McCaskill winning re-election.  McCaskill is nearing the end of her first term after being elected by a thin margin in 2006.  The TPM Poll Average currently shows the Democratic incumbent with a slight lead over Steelman.  


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A new poll done over the weekend should serve as encouraging news to embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who is facing a recall election on June 5.  

In the statewide automated survey of likely voters conducted by We Ask America on Sunday, Walker holds a 9-point lead over Democratic nominee Tom Barrett. Walker claims the support of 52 percent, while Barrett trails with 43 percent. The poll has a margin of error of 2.81 percentage points.  

We Ask America made clear that the race is "fluid" and far from over.  The TPM Poll Average currently shows Walker with a nearly 7-point lead over Barrett, who claimed the Democratic Party's nomination last week.

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