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 week ahead of his state's Republican presidential primary, former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley (R) has endorsed Mitt Romney. 

Riley pledged his support to Romney while acknowledging that the former Massachusetts governor, who has struggled to build a coalition of support in southern states, faces an uphill battle in Alabama. 

"I think Romney is an underdog in the state of Alabama but that doesn't take away any of my support for him," Riley said in an interview Wednesday.

Riley served as governor from 2003 until 2011. The Alabama primary is scheduled for March 13.  

The latest Public Policy Polling (D) survey offers encouraging news for gay marriage proponents in Maine, as voters in the state prepare to take up the issue this November. 

In the statewide poll of registered voters, 54 percent of respondents indicated that gay marriage should be legal, while only 41 percent said it should remain illegal. 

The polling marks a significant turnabout in Maine, where then-Gov. John Baldacci's (D) measure to legalize gay marriage was overturned by voters in 2009, 53 percent to 47 percent. 

“It looks like Maine will reverse its 2009 vote on gay marriage this fall,” Dean Debnam, President of PPP, said. “That’s symbolic of the shift in public opinion that’s occurred on this issue over the last few years.”

Newt Gingrich on Wednesday continued his steadfast refusal to drop out of the Republican presidential race for the benefit of Rick Santorum, arguing that the former Pennsylvania senator is not a safe bet to defeat Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama.

"If I thought he was a slam dunk to beat Romney and to beat Obama, I would really consider getting out," Gingrich said during a morning interview Bill Bennett's "Morning in America" radio show. "I don't."  

The Associated Press is reporting that state treasurer Josh Mandel has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Ohio.  Official results were unavailable, but the AP characterized it as an easy victory.  The 34-year-old Mandel will now face Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown in the general election.  

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), a top supporter of Mitt Romney, released a statement this evening celebrating the former Massachusetts governor's victory over Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) in the Commonwealth's primary:

"With today's victory in Virginia, Mitt Romney has again demonstrated that his bold and conservative plan to get spending under control, make government smaller and more efficient, and help the private sector create good paying jobs is resonating all across America. He is winning primaries in every region of this country, from New Hampshire to Nevada, and today Governor Romney has added the Commonwealth of Virginia to the list. Voters know that Mitt Romney is a strong, principled, results-oriented conservative who will bring people together to get our economy back on track and Americans back to work. He is a leader. Mitt Romney has experience in both the private and the public sectors in providing the type of positive leadership that we desperately need in Washington. I look forward to doing all I can to help ensure that Mitt Romney is elected President this November, and we bring opportunity back to America."         

In case there was any lingering doubt, the latest survey of Georgia from American Research Group confirms what most have expected all along: Newt Gingrich will likely claim a decisive win in the state he represented in Congress for 20 years.

The statewide survey of likely Republican primary voters shows Ginrich claiming 44 percent support.  Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are well behind the former House Speaker, polling at 24 percent and 19 percent respectively.

The TPM Poll Average of Georgia tells a similar story: barring a shocking upset, Gingrich is poised to win the Peach State in a landslide.

On a day when the number of companies fleeing from Rush Limbaugh has snowballed, the conservative talk radio personality's program is being immediately discontinued by a Hawaii-based station.  Chris Leonard, the President and General Manager of New West Broadcasting, announced today that Limbaugh's program will no longer be broadcast on KPUA AM 670 in Hilo, HI. 

In a written statement, Leonard said that Limbaugh's disparaging remarks about Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student who testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, "crossed a line of decency and a standard that we expect of programming on KPUA whether it is locally produced or a syndicated program like the Rush Limbaugh show." 

KPUA is reportedly the first station to cancel Limbaugh's program in the wake of his controversial comments.  

A new poll released on Friday by the University of Cinncinati shows the approval rating for Gov. John Kasich (OH-R) still well below 50 percent. 

In the statewide survey of Ohio adults, 44 percent approve of the job Kasich is doing while 42 percent disapprove.  The Republican governor has faced a difficult political climate in the Buckeye State ever since he championed a law that sought to place restrictions on collective bargaining, which Ohio voters resoundingly rejected in November of 2011. 

The TPM Poll Average shows Kasich's approval rating hovering dangerously close to 40 percent, although his numbers have steadily improved since last year's statewide vote.








Michael Steel, a spokesman for U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), said that the Republican leader repudiates the recent remarks made by conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, but he also criticized those who seek to use the controversy as a fundraising tool.

"The speaker obviously believes the use of those words was inappropriate, as is trying to raise money off the situation," Steel told CNN on Friday.

Limbaugh set off a firestorm earlier this week when he called Sandra Fluke, a student at Georgetown Law School who testified in the House of Representatives last week, a "slut" and "prostitute."  


A new survey by Public Policy Polling (D) shows former Congressman Bob Etheridge as the slight favorite to claim the Democratic party's nomination in the North Carolina gubernatorial race.

The poll shows Etheridge polling at 26 percent, followed by Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton at 19 percent.  No other candidate eclipses the ten percent barrier.

Incumbent Democratic Governor Bev Perdue is eligible for re-election, but she announced in January that she will not seek a second term.  The primary election will be held on May 8.