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

Mitt Romney on Thursday confirmed that he did meet with Republican presidential rival Newt Gingrich on the eve of the Louisiana primary last week in New Orleans, but the former Massachusetts governor was cagey with the details.

“We’re pretty much in regular communication between the different campaigns and I said hello to Newt,” Romney said on Sean Hannity's radio show. “Nothing new, nothing exciting except we keep a friendly discourse open.”

For what it's worth, Gingrich spokesman RC Hammond told ABC News that while the former House Speaker's meeting with Romney did occur, “Newt does speak Santorum and Romney on a regular basis.”

As North Carolina prepares to vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban both marriage and civil unions between same sex couples, a new survey released by Public Policy Polling (D) might represent a discouraging development for opponents of the measure.  

The poll shows that 58 percent of likely primary voters in the state intend to support the amendment, while only 38 percent intend to vote against.  But the poll also indicated that opponents to the amendment might be suffering from an under-informed electorate.

From PPP:

Part of the problem is that voters are not well informed about what the amendment does. A 34% plurality say they are not sure on that question. Almost as many (31%) do know that it would ban both gay marriage and civil unions, but then not many fewer (28%) think it would only ban marriage. 7% actually think it would legalize gay marriage. Those who think it bans solely marriage rights are voting 67-30 for it, so 8% of North Carolinians, while misinformed, are voting against the measure simply because they think it bans same-sex marriage alone. Of course, those who think a “yes” vote actually legalizes these unions are voting by the same margin for it.


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Thursday elaborated on his endorsement of Mitt Romney, citing President Barack Obama's recent "open mic" moment as the impetus for his public support of the former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential frontrunner.

“It’s been weighing on my mind all week," Rubio told The Daily Caller.  “I’ve never thought about this as a political calculation.  I’m just sitting back here and watching a president that just got back from overseas — where he told the Russian president to work with him and give him space so he can be more flexible if he gets re-elected.”

President Barack Obama's 2008 triumph in Virginia was widely attributed to a well-orchestrated campaign that mobilized large swaths of voters, even in reliably conservative areas. Four years later, it's growing support among women that's giving the president momentum in the Commonwealth -- and according to some observers, he can thank the Republican party's revival of the culture wars for powering his re-election bid there.

Read More →

After being branded as a "Blue Dog" and drawing attacks for his previous associations with the Republican party, management consultant Brad Schneider has been vindicated by the voters, surviving a formidable primary challenge on Tuesday from 25-year-old former community organizer Ilya Sheyman to win the Democratic party's nomination in Illinois's 10th Congressional District.

Read More →

A new Quinnipiac poll shows President Barack Obama leading all four potential Republican challengers in the crucial swing state of Virginia.  

In hypothetical general election matchups, the president leads likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney, 50 percent to 42 percent, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, 49 percent to 40 percent.

The TPM Poll Average of Virginia captures the steady gains Obama has made over Romney in the Commonwealth since the new year.

If this election year represents a potential crossroads for Democrats -- wherein the party must choose to either embrace progressive principles or espouse moderation in the name of electability -- Tuesday's U.S. House primary contest in Illinois's 10th Congressional District might well be instructive.

Read More →

At a time when Barack Obama's national approval rating is varying wildly from pollster to pollster, the President is receiving an encouraging sign in another key swing state.  The latest Public Policy Polling (D) survey of North Carolina shows Obama besting all four potential Republican challengers in hypothetical general election match-ups.  

Among registered voters in the state, Obama tops the prohibitive GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, 49 percent to 46 percent, as well as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, 49 percent to 44 percent. Romney leads among usual Republican primary voters, claiming 31 percent to Santorum's 27 percent. 

Long a Republican stronghold, North Carolina went blue in 2008 when Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the Tar Heel State since Jimmy Carter in 1976.  The state will be highly coveted again this year, as it is widely thought to be crucial to the Obama's re-election chances.  The TPM Poll Average of North Carolina shows an extremely close race between Obama and Romney, although the president has been trending upward since January.

The latest Public Policy Polling (D) survey of Pennsylvania shows Rick Santorum is not only the runaway favorite to win his home state's Republican presidential primary but also the most formidable GOP candidate in hypothetical match-ups with President Barack Obama. 

Among Republican primary voters in the Keystone State, Santorum claims the support of 43 percent of respondents.  Mitt Romney is a distant second with 25 percent, while neither Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul top 15 percent.  

When the survey was opened up to include all registered voters in the state, the president holds a mere two-point advantage over Santorum, who represented Pennsylvania as both a congressman and United States senator.  Obama enjoys a larger lead over Romney — widely considered to be the frontrunner for the GOP nomination — 49 percent to 42 percent, which represents an encouraging development for the President in a state that he almost certainly needs to win in November.  

From PPP: 

Obama's 7 point lead over Romney in Pennsylvania is a shift from last year when we twice found them tied, once found Romney ahead by a point, and once found Obama ahead by three. In addition to Obama's approval numbers improving, Romney's image has taken a hit in the state over the last 3 months. His favorability numbers were already bad at 32/51, but now they're worse at 30/60. Obama's turned a 2 point deficit against Romney with independents into a 51/38 lead.

The TPM Poll Average shows the president with a comparable advantage in Pennsylvania, where Obama has maintained a roughly six-point lead over the former Massachusetts governor since early January. 


Both Rasmussen and Gallup track President Barack Obama's job approval on a daily basis, but the two prominent pollsters are offering very different takes with their latest releases. 

In every release since Friday, Rasmussen has shown the president's approval ratings well under the 50 percent mark. Obama's numbers dipped significantly on Saturday and Sunday, with only 44 percent approving of his job performance on both days. The 44 percent approval rating matched Obama's 2012 nadir in the Rasmussen survey.

Gallup, meanwhile, has shown the president above water over the same time period.  In fact, Obama's approval rating is just short of 50 percent in today's release, with only 43 percent disapproving.

Both pollsters conduct their tracking surveys over a three-day span and both are based on a sample size of 1,500 respondents; however, Gallup surveys adults — any citizen over the age of 18 — whereas Rasmussen only polls "likely voters."  

The TPM Poll Average captures the steady improvement in Obama's approval rating in the weeks after the new year began, along with the slight drop that has occured over the last month.