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

Broadway marquees will be dimmed for one minute Friday evening to pay homage to writer Gore Vidal, who died Tuesday at the age of 86.  

The cast of The Best Man, the play written by Vidal, will dedicate the next week of performances to the late author.  

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Thursday played down the importance of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's running mate.  

"There are great and talented people out there, but vice presidential candidates are interesting choices that will probably only make two or three days worth of news, unless they make some huge gaffe," Perry told CNN. "As long as it's not me, I'll be cool."


Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Friday that the victory of tea party upstart Ted Cruz in the Texas Republican Senate runoff does not augur well for the GOP leadership or the American people.

Appearing on Morning Joe, New York's senior senator argued that some Republican members have veered out of step with the mainstream views of the American public — a category in which he placed Cruz, who Schumer suggested will cause headaches for both voters and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

"They don't want the America most Americans want," Schumer told the panel. "Ted Cruz's victory is a disaster for Mitch McConnell, the Republicans and America."

Cruz's victory in Tuesday's runoff has prompted speculation over how his arrival in the Senate will affect the ongoing gridlock in the chamber.  

President Barack Obama's campaign has secured a $77 million in ad time beginning Friday and running through Election Day, CNN reports.

The buy is for 30-second television ads that will air in eight battleground states, including over $19 million in Ohio, over $13 million in Florida and over $11 million in Virginia.   

Despite the enormous influence of Super PACs in the 2012 campaign, a huge majority of Americans have either heard only "a little" or "nothing at all" about the proliferation of spending by outside groups in this year's presidential election, according to a new poll released Thursday.

The poll from Pew Research, in collaboration with the Washington Post, shows that 25 percent of Americans have heard "a lot" about increased spending in this year's presidential election by outside groups unaffiliated with a candidate's campaign, known as Super PACs.  Thirty-six percent said they have heard "a little" about the spike in spending by outside groups, while 39 percent have heard "nothing at all."  Moreover, when given four choices as to what constitutes a Super PAC, 40 percent correctly identified it as "a group able to accept unlimited political donations," but 46 percent said they have no opinion.

Super PACs have already played a significant role in the 2012 presidential election.  Restore Our Future, the Super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, buried his Republican rivals with an avalanche of ads during the party's nomination contest earlier this year, and the group is poised to continue its domination on the airwaves through the November election.  

Reuters reports:

Syrian rebels turned the gun of a captured tank against government forces on Thursday, shelling a military airbase expected to be used as a staging post for army reinforcements in the battle for Aleppo.

President Bashar al-Assad's troops meanwhile bombarded the strategic Salaheddine district in Aleppo itself with tank and artillery fire while rebels tried to consolidate their hold on areas they have seized.

President Barack Obama isn't likely to duplicate his landslide 2008 victory in Connecticut this time around, a new poll released Wednesday shows.

The latest from Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Obama leading Mitt Romney by a comofortable margin in Connecticut, 51-43 percent, but that's a far cry from the 22-point gap that separated the president from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) there four years ago.  In a continuation of a nationwide trend, PPP finds that Obama continues to struggle to win over white voters, even in a typically blue state located in the heart of New England. Romney claims a narrow edge among white voters in Connecticut, 48-46 percent.  

To be sure, Obama is still the clear favorite in the Nutmeg State, which Democrats have carried in the last five presidential election cycles.   Wednesday's poll actually represents a decided improvement for Obama since PPP's previous survey of Connecticut in September, when he led Romney by only 2-points.

President Barack Obama holds a 6-point lead over Mitt Romney in Michigan, according to a new survey from an in-state pollster.

In the latest poll from Lansing, Mich.-based firm EPIC-MRA, Obama earns the support of 48 percent of likely voters in the Great Lakes State, while Romney trails with 42 percent.  The results are a departure from the previous EPIC-MRA poll in June, which found Romney leading Obama by a razor thin margin, 46-45 percent.  

Michigan has long been thought to be auspicious political terrain for Obama, due largely to his administration's successful restructuring of the U.S. automotive industry.  Despite recent polls that have shown the presidential race tightening in Michigan, the PollTracker Average shows the state still favors Obama, who currently leads Romney, 48.3-41.9 percent.  

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) leads U.S. House Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) in Florida's ever-tightening U.S. Senate race, according to a new poll released Wednesday.  

A new poll from Quinnipiac University, CBS News and the New York Times shows Nelson leading Mack among likely Florida voters, 47-40 percent.  

Recent polls have shown Mack ahead of Nelson, who is seeking a third term.  The PollTracker Average tracks the inroads made over the last two months by Mack, but Nelson still clings to a slim lead, 44.5-43.9 percent.