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 poll shows President Barack Obama besting presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Maine.

In the statewide survey, which was conducted earlier this month by the Maine-based polling firm Critical Insights, the president leads Romney 50 percent to 42 percent.  

The poll is notable in that the former Massachusetts governor actually has a stronger favorability rating than Obama, breaking a long-running trend throughout the campaign.  Romney is viewed favorably by 51 percent of Maine voters, compared to 47 percent who have a favorable view of Obama.


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A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows that a majority of Americans favor at least some legal recognition — be it marriage or civil unions — for same-sex couples. 

The nationwide survey found that 38 percent of respondents believe that same-sex couples should be permitted to marry, while 24 percent believe that civil unions should provide legal rights and recognition to such couples. Only 33 percent said there should be no legal recognition for same-sex couples.  

Not surprisingly, younger Americans who participated in the survey strongly support marriage equality. Among the respondents between ages 18-44, 53 percent support full marriage rights for same-sex couples. Only 30 percent in that age bracket oppose all legal recognition. 

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A new poll by the Glengariff Group shows President Barack Obama holding a roughly 5-point advantage over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Michigan. 

In the statewide survey of likely voters conducted May 10-11, Obama leads Romney 45.1 percent to 39.5 percent.  The poll's margin of error is 4 percentage points.

While Michigan Romney's former home, the president has enjoyed a political boost there from the successful execution of the U.S. automotive industry bailout. Romney struggled to win the Michigan Republican primary over Rick Santorum in late February. The TPM Poll Average shows Obama with a slight lead over the former Massachusetts governor in the Great Lakes State.



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A USA Today/Gallup poll released this week shows presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney holding a slight advantage over President Barack Obama on the crucial issue of the economy.  

When voters were asked to choose which candidate "would do a better job of handling the economy over the next four years," Romney was the choice of 47 percent of respondents compared to 45 percent who gave the nod to Obama.  

The TPM Poll Average shows a comparable split, but with the president edging the former Massachusetts governor when it comes to who voters prefer to handle economic matters. 

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Delivering the commencement address at Virginia Tech on Friday, First Lady Michelle Obama commended the student body's spirit of service in the wake of recent tragedies on the Blacksburg, Va. campus.  

"You have also shown us that through service, we can heal ourselves," the First Lady told the graduating class.

Virginia Tech was rocked by a shooting that left two dead last December, nearly five years after a 2007 massacre in which 32 people were killed.  

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A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows divided support on three of the most prominent achievements — and three of the most salient planks for his nascent re-election campaign — from President Barack Obama's first term.  

The poll asked respondents for their opinion of the U.S. auto industry bailout, stronger regulation of the nation's financial institutions and the economic stimulus program.

While all three issues drew comparable levels of support, the loans provided to the auto industry are the most popular, with 50 percent viewing them favorably compared to 43 percent who view the bailout unfavorably.  With regard to increased regulation of the financial industry, 49 percent have a favorable view while 44 percent have a negative view.  The economic stimulus — which Republicans have maligned as an unmitigated failure — is clearly the most polarizing, with 47 percent viewing it favorably and 48 percent unfavorably. 

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Former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern offered praise of President Barack Obama's support for same-sex marriage. 

The liberal lion, who will turn 90 this summer, told a newspaper in his native South Dakota that he is also in favor of same-sex marriage on "conservative" grounds.

“I’m a ‘conservative’ when it comes to marriage," McGovern said.  "I think if two people love each other, are living together and having sex, they ought to get married." 

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North Carolina voters may have just passed a change to the state's constitution that designates marriage between a man and a woman as the only legally recognized union, but gay rights advocates are already considering options to counter the newly minted law.

After Amendment One received overwhelming approval in Tuesday's statewide election, a spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect NC Families told TPM that the organization would now "look at all legal options and political options to overturn this amendment." A day later, Jeremy Kennedy, the campaign manager for the Coalition, clarified his group's official role going forward.

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Marriage between a man and a woman will now be the only legally recognized domestic union in North Carolina after voters Tuesday overwhelmingly passed Amendment One, a change to the state's constitution that could take effect as early as next week. North Carolina now becomes the 30th state to adopt a same-sex marriage ban.

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The latest survey from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling shows President Barack Obama holding a 10-point advantage over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Iowa. 

In the statewide survey of Iowa voters, Obama claims the support of 51 percent, while Romney trails with 41 percent. Romney appears to be hamstrung by his personal appeal, a problem that has vexed him throughout the campaign. According to the PPP survey, only 34 percent of Iowa voters have a favorable opinion of the former Massachusetts governor, compared with 56 percent who view him unfavorably.  

The poll should give succor to the president's re-election hopes.  Obama's victory in the Iowa caucuses four years ago helped vault him to his party's nomination, and the Hawkeye State eventually handed him a comfortable win over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in the 2008 general election.  But four years later, the state is thought to be less friendly to the president. The TPM Poll Average currently shows Obama with a comparable lead over Romney in Iowa.

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