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 Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday shows former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon winning handily over former U.S. House Rep. Chris Shays in the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Connecticut, 59 percent to 30 percent.  

The results of Wednesday's survey show a dramatic change in the race since Quinnipiac's March poll, which showed McMahon with a smaller nine-point advantage over Shays.  Shays, who represented Connecticut's 4th Congressional District, has won the endorsement of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).  McMahon, whose husband Vince is the chairman and CEO of World Wresting Entertainment, lost to Democrat Richard Blumenthal in the 2010 U.S. Senate Race in Connecticut.  

The Republican nominee will likely face U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-CT), who holds a comfortable lead over his lone Democratic challenger in the Quinnipiac Poll.  According to the poll, Murphy holds a slim three-point lead over McMahon in a hypothetical general election matchup, 46 percent to 43 percent.  Both parties will hold their primaries on August 14.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Virginia's U.S. Senate race remains one of the most competitive contests in the 2012 election cycle, with former Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine nursing a narrow one-point advantage over ex-Sen. George Allen, 44 percent to 43 percent.  

The results of the Quinnipiac survey mesh with the TPM Poll Average, which also shows Kaine barely edging Allen.


Gay rights advocates might be poised for an electoral breakthrough in Minnesota, a new poll released Tuesday suggests. Voters there will decide in November the fate of a state constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage.

The poll, conducted by Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP), shows 49 percent of Minnesota voters do not believe the state constitution should be amended to ensure legal recognition for only unions between a man and a woman. Forty-three percent of voters support the amendment. That marks a stark shift since PPP's previous survey of Minnesota in January, when 48 percent of the state's voters expressed support for the amendment. The latest survey also shows that 47 percent believe same-sex marriage should be legal, the same percentage of Minnesota voters who said it should be illegal in the January poll.

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A new survey conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) and commissioned by Daily Kos and SEIU  shows 45 percent of registered voters are less likely to support Mitt Romney due to his ties with real estate magnate and reality television star Donald Trump.

Forty-four percent said the issue will not affect their vote, while only 9 percent said Romney's association with Trump makes them more likely to vote for the Republican nominee.  

Former President Bill Clinton collaborated with President Barack Obama Monday night in New York City to raise more than $3 million for Obama's re-election campaign.

Clinton veered off message last week when he offered praise of Mitt Romney's business career while also questioning the wisdom of the Obama campaign's attacks against the Republican nominee's career at the private equity firm Bain Capital.  But Clinton left no doubt who he backs in the 2012 race at Monday's fundraiser, telling supporters it is "essential" to re-elect Obama.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton ruled Monday that Roger Clemens' attorneys may not call Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) as a witness in the perjury trial of the former baseball great.

Before Issa became chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he criticized the panel for holding a hearing in 2008 on drugs in baseball.  Clemens allegedly lied to the committee and his attorneys hoped Issa's testimony would undermine the legitimacy of the hearing.  Walton suggested he was actually acting in the best interest of the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, telling Clemens' lawyers that Issa's testimony "may bury your client."

“If I was in your all shoes, I would be very loath to call him," Walton said. 

A new poll released Monday confirms a fact of which most Americans are well aware: Voters have grown sharply divided along partisan lines over the last quarter-century.

But the poll is striking in its revelation that party affiliations divide Americans more than any other mitigating factor, including gender, class, age and race.

The 25th anniversary edition of the Pew Research Center's American Values Project, the longest-running study the polling firm conducts, offers a wide-ranging look at the values, trends, partisanship and demographics that have permeated public life in the United States since 1987. Tracking public opinion on 48 political values, Pew's survey reveals that Americans have grown increasingly divided along party lines over the last 25 years -- while the divides based on gender, class, age and race have remained static.

"I don't think we're going to surprise many people in showing how polarized this nation has become on party lines," Michael Dimock, associate director of research at Pew, told TPM. "What's surprising is how stable the nation is in so many other ways."

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Gabriel Sherman of New York magazine reports that Bill Daley, former chief of staff to President Barack Obama, approached Michael Bloomberg earlier this year to offer the New York City mayor the top post at the World Bank.  Bloomberg declined and the Obama administration in March nominated Jim Yong Kim, President of Dartmouth College, to serve as president of the World Bank.   

From Sherman's report:

Last winter, Bill Daley, then Obama’s chief of staff, discreetly called the mayor and asked him if he wanted to be head of the World Bank—Robert Zoellick was stepping down. But Bloomberg did not want to have a boss, and he’d already begun to retool his life for his post-mayoralty. He turned the job down.