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

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson looks increasingly vulnerable in his bid for the Republican nomination in the state's U.S. Senate race, a new poll released Tuesday night shows.  

In a new survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP), businessman and upstart Eric Hovde leads the field, earning the support of 28 percent of likely Republican primary voters.  Thompson finds himself tied for second with former U.S. House Rep. Mark Neumann at 25 percent.  State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald picks up 13 percent.  The primary election will be held on August 14, with the winner slated to take on Democratic U.S. House Rep. Tammy Baldwin in the general election.

Once a heavy hitter among Wisconsin Republicans, Thompson has struggled to win over a new generation of conservatives in the Badger State.  Thompson served as governor of the state from 1987 until 2001, when he assumed the role of Secretary of Health and Human Services under former President George W. Bush.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Thompson holding a 5-point lead over Hovde, 32.7-27.7 percent.

Finishing a full five points ahead of second place Russia, the United States women's gymnastics team won Olympic gold Tuesday in London.  The title marks the first time since 1996  — and only the second time ever — that the U.S. women's gymnastics team won the top prize at the Olympics.  

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll is expanding the number of cell phone-only respondents in its sample, the Republican and Democratic firms that conduct the survey announced Tuesday.  

After increasing the portion of cell phone-only respondents to 25 percent of the total sample in February, the NBC/WSJ polling team will now increase the percentage of cell-phone only respondents to 30 percent of the total sample — or 300 out 1,000 respondents.

The change is an effort to better "reach younger and more ethnically diverse respondents."


Former President Bill Clinton is now as popular with the American people as he ever was when he was in office, new research from Gallup shows.

Sixty-six percent of Americans have a favorable view of Clinton — matching the record high favorability rating achieved in January of 1993, when he began his first term.  Only 28 percent have an unfavorable view of the former president.  

When Mitt Romney ultimately chooses a running mate, the announcement will first be relayed on a mobile app designed specifically for the highly anticipated selection.  

The Romney campaign is promoting "Mitt's VP" app for those who wish to be the "first to find out" who will run alongside the presumptive Republican nominee.  "Mitt's VP" app will be available for free to both Apple and Android users.    


San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro has been tapped to deliver the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.  Castro will be given a prime time slot on September 4, the opening night of the convention and the same night First Lady Michelle Obama is slated to speak.  

The announcement came in a video released Friday morning to the Spanish language television network, Univision.

(h/t Texas Tribune)

A new poll from a Republican pollster finds Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) ahead in Ohio's U.S. Senate race, while President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are neck-and-neck in the Buckeye State.

The latest poll conducted by Republican polling firm Magellan Strategies on behalf of Opportunity Ohio shows Brown, who was first elected to the Senate in 2006, leading GOP challenger and state treasurer Josh Mandel, 45 percent to 38 percent.

In the presidential race, Obama holds a 2-point lead over Romney among likely Ohio voters — an edge that is well within the poll's 4.01 percent margin of error.  

The PollTracker Average shows that Ohio currently favors both Democrats, with Brown leading Mandel, 45.2-39.7 percent, and Obama holding a 47.2-42 percent advantage over Romney in the perennial swing state.  

President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney among likely voters nationwide, according to a new poll released Monday.

A survey conducted by Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner on behalf of Democracy Corps shows Obama earning the support of 50 percent of likely voters, while trails with the support of 46 percent.  The president's job approval rating also reaches the 50 percent plateau in Monday's poll.  Among those surveyed, 50 percent approve of the job Obama is doing, compared with 46 percent who disapprove.

The PollTracker Average shows Obama's approval rating still underwater —46.8 percent approve while 49.4 disapprove — although it has improved markedly in 2012.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Monday defended his decision to tap Sarah Palin as his 2008 running mate after former Vice President Dick Cheney questioned the selection over the weekend.

Appearing on Fox & Friends, McCain said he stands by his choice, while recalling past disagreements with Cheney over the treatment of detained terrorist suspects.

"I'm always glad to get comments four years later," McCain told host Brian Kilmeade.  "I respect the vice president. He and I had strong disagreements as to whether we should torture people or not. I don't think we should have. But the fact is that I'm proud of Sarah Palin. I'm proud of the job she did. I'm proud of the job she continues to do. So everybody has their own views and I respect those views. I'm proud of what we did."

In an interview with ABC that aired on Sunday, Cheney called McCain's choice of Palin "a mistake."

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) finds herself down against all three potential Republican opponents in her re-election bid, a new poll released Saturday shows.  

A new survey from Mason-Dixon, conducted on behalf of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and News 4, shows would-be Republican challengers John Brunner, Sarah Steelman and Todd Akin all topping the first-term senator.  McCaskill trails Missouri businessman Brunner, 52-41 percent,  former state treasurer Steelman, 49-41 percent, and US. House Rep. Akin, 49-44 percent.  

The Missouri Republican primary will be held on August 7.  Mason-Dixon's poll shows Brunner leading among likely Republican primary voters with the support of 33 percent.  Steelman picks up the support of 27 percent, while Akin polls at 17 percent.