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

Sixty-one percent of registered voters nationwide say they have an unfavorable impression of the campaign being led by Republican nominee Mitt Romney, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The latest poll from ABC News and the Washington Post shows that only 36 percent of voters have a favorable view of the Romney campaign.  Conversely, 53 percent of voters have a favorable impression President Barack Obama's campaign, compared with 45 percent who have an unfavorable view.

A majority of voters, 54 percent, also have a negative view of Romney's now-imfamous "47 percent" remark, which was secretly recorded at a high-dollar fundraiser earlier this year.  

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) leads Republican challenger Josh Mandel by 10 points in Ohio's closely watched U.S. Senate race, according to a new poll released Wednesday.  

The latest poll from Quinnipiac University, CBS News and the New York Times shows Brown leading Mandel, the state treasurer, among likely voters, 50 percent to 40 percent.  That represents a  slight uptick in support for Brown since the previous Quinnipiac/CBS/NYT poll in August, when he led Mandel by 7 points.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Brown maintaining the lead he has held over Mandel the entire campaign, 49.5 percent to 41.4 percent. 


The National Football League on Tuesday offered support for a referee's controversial decision at the end of Monday night's game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers.  In a statement, the league said the official's conclusion that there was no indisputable evidence to overturn the call on the field — a touchdown that gave Seattle the victory —was correct.

Replay Official Howard Slavin stopped the game for an instant replay review. The aspects of the play that were reviewable included if the ball hit the ground and who had possession of the ball. In the end zone, a ruling of a simultaneous catch is reviewable. That is not the case in the field of play, only in the end zone.

Referee Wayne Elliott determined that no indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the call on the field, and as a result, the on-field ruling of touchdown stood. The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review.

The result of the game is final.

The NFL did, however, acknowledge that Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate, who was awarded the questionable touchdown, got away with an offensive pass interference on the same place.  If the penalty been called, the game would have ended.  Monday's debacle was another frustrating episode for the NFL's much-maligned replacement referees, who are serving in place of the locked out officials.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) holds a 12-point lead over Republican challenger Josh Mandel among likely voters in Ohio's senate race, according to a new poll from the Washington Post out Tuesday.

The poll shows Brown leading Mandel, 53 percent to 41 percent.  Both candidates are fairly unknown among Ohio voters.  Forty-nine percent have a favorable opinion of Brown, first elected in 2006, while 40 percent have an unfavorable view.  But 11 percent have no opinion of the freshman senator.  Mandel, the state treasurer, is viewed favorably by 42 percent of Buckeye State voters and unfavorably by 45 percent, but 13 percent have no opinion of the Republican nominee.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Brown, who has held a consistent advantage throughout the race, leading Mandel by 7.2 points.


Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) has had a rocky year, but a new poll out Tuesday shows he remains in a strong position to secure re-election in New York's 11th Congressional District.

According to a new poll from Siena College, Grimm leads Democratic challenger Mark Murphy among likely voters, 48 percent to 38 percent.  Grimm is also viewed favorably by 50 percent of voters in the district, which encompasses Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.  

The freshman lawmaker's Staten Island campaign office was vandalized earlier this week, and the FBI has been investigating both the fundraising efforts behind Grimm's 2010 campaign and a trip that he made to Cyprus in 2011.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday acknowledged that Mitt Romney's campaign has endured a rough patch as of late, which could be fatal to the Republican nominee's chances — that is, if the election were held tomorrow.

“We had a bad week — if the election were going to be held tomorrow that would be a problem, but there’s a lot of ground to cover in the next 42 days,” Christie said. “I don’t think we need to overreact on this.”

H/T Bloomberg

More than half of registered voters nationwide prefer President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney to handle issues related to Medicare, according to a new poll from USA Today and Gallup released Monday.

The poll shows that 51 percent of voters across the country prefer Obama to preside over the nation's health care system for senior citizens, while 43 percent prefer Romney.  Voters in swing states give the nod to Obama on Medicare by a similar margin, 50 percent to 44 percent.  Gallup's swing state sample includes voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.    

The issue of Medicare was viewed by many as a potentially problematic policy area for the Republican ticket after Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate in August.  Ryan's much-ballyhooed budget proposal, widely celebrated on the right, included a provision to turn Medicare into a voucher program, a proposal that has proven to be consistently unpopular among voters.  

The PollTracker Average shows Obama gaining separation from Romney on the issue of Medicare this month, after the two candidates were running evenly on that for much of August.