Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in New York City. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, Tom served as assistant polling editor for TPM Media's PollTracker during the 2012 campaign. Before joining TPM, he worked on political campaigns and wrote for various publications in Minnesota and his native South Dakota. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

Jon Ralston, a political columnist for the Las Vegas Sun whose influence extends beyond Nevada, will leave the newspaper at the end of the month to launch his own online platform.  Ralston has written for the Sun for 12 years.

The USS Constitution, the nation's oldest commissioned warship widely known as "OId Iron Sides," will sail under its own power for the second time in over a century when it embarks on a 10-minute trek in Boston Harbor on Sunday.  

h/t CBS News

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan implored supporters in Springfield, Va. on Friday to help he and Mitt Romney secure the political capital necessary to implement their agenda.

"We want to earn your support," Ryan said.  "We want to deserve victory, so that when we win this election, we have the authority, the mandate from the people to get America back on track, get people going to work and get the American dream turned back on for people." 

Former Minnesota governor and Romney campaign national co-chair Tim Pawlenty on Friday denied that he harbored any disappointment about not being tapped to join the Republican presidential ticket — he was just happy to be on the short list.

"Look, I didn't really expect to be considered, much less be a finalist this time so I can honestly say I wasn't disappointed to not get something I didn't expect," Pawlenty told MSNBC. "So it was an honor to be considered but I can genuinely tell you that it's not something I expected so I didn't have disappointment. I told Mitt originally, I don't know if I should even go through the process, but it was an honor to be considered and it was an honor more to be a finalist."

This year marked the second consecutive election cycle in which Pawlenty was strongly considered to serve as the running mate to the Republican presidential nominee.  In 2008, he was vetted by Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) campaign before Sarah Palin, then a little-known governor from Alaska, was selected to join the Republican ticket.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will be teaming up on the campaign trail sooner than was originally planned, POLITICO reports.

While the initial plan was for the two candidates to part ways before reuniting at the Republican National Convention at month's end in Tampa, Fla., Romney and Ryan will likely make two joint appearances next week.  Aides told POLITICO that the decision was motivated by the energy that Ryan has brought to the campaign, which has rubbed off on the presidential nominee himself.  

“They really like each other and they feed off of each other,” campaign manager Matt Rhoades told POLITICO. “There’s an energy, there’s a chemistry.”

A Russian judge on Friday found three members of the all-female punk rock group Pussy Riot guilty of hooliganism, Reuters reports.  

The judge said the three women were driven by religious hatred when they staged a protest against President Vladimir Putin outside of a Moscow church in February.  

The trial has set off an international firestorm of sorts, with pop icon Madonna even wading into the controversy when she voiced her support for the embattled musicians during a recent concert in Moscow.  

The addition of Paul Ryan to the Republican presidential ticket has resulted in a positive impact on fundraising, grassroots activity and polling, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades contends in a memo released Friday.

In the memo, Rhoades highlights the campaign's online fundraising haul since Ryan was announced as Mitt Romney's running mate last week.  The campaign has generated more than $10 million in online donations, with as much as $7.4 million raised in the three days following the Ryan selection.  Moreover, Rhoades points to a spike in online traffic on the campaign's website, Twitter feed and Facebook page as evidence that Ryan has energized voters.

Rhoades also argues that the Republican ticket has seen a bump in the polls over the last week, underscoring gains made in Gallup's daily tracking polls and a survey from Purple Strategies that showed Romney and Ryan narrowly outperforming President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in swing states.

Reuters reports:

The White House is "dusting off old plans" for a potential release of oil reserves to dampen rising gasoline prices and prevent high energy costs from undermining the success of Iran sanctions, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Thursday.

U.S. officials will monitor market conditions over the coming weeks, watching whether gasoline prices fall after the September 3 Labor Day holiday, as they historically do, the source said.

Half of New York City voters disapprove of the controversial police practice known as "stop-and-frisk," according to a new poll released Thursday.

The latest poll from Quinnipiac University shows that 50 percent of registered voters in New York City disapprove of the practice, which allows personnel from the New York Police Department to stop, question and potentially search a person suspected of wrongdoing.  Forty-five percent approve of stop-and-frisk.  The practice has drawn nationwide attention after it was reported that there were nearly 700,000 stops by the NYPD last year, the vast majority of which involved individuals who were innocent.  

Thursday's poll also shows that 50 percent of of New York City voters disagree with the notion that a reduction in the practice would lead to an increase in crime, while 41 percent believe it would cause crime to go up.


President Barack Obama's lead in Michigan has inched up to 5 points, a new poll released Thursday shows.  

Obama leads MItt Romney, 49 percent to 44 percent, among likely Michigan voters in the latest automated survey from in-state pollster, Mitchell Research & Communications.  Mitchell's previous two polls showed a dead heat between Obama and Romney in the state.  Obama clung to a 1-point edge in the June survey, while Romney led by the same minuscule margin last month.

The latest poll, conducted on Monday, shows that Romney's selection of Paul Ryan has had no immediate impact on the race in Michigan.  Obama's lead remains the same even when the names of Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden are included in the survey question.  

After several polls showed an increasingly tight race in the Great Lakes State earlier in the summer, Obama appears to have re-gained his footing to re-emerge as the favorite there.  The PollTracker Average currently shows Michigan favoring the president, who leads Romney, 48.9 percent to 43.8 percent.