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

The Hill reports this morning that Mitt Romney's campaign is off to an early start in formally vetting potential running mates.  

According to the report, Beth Myers, who is conducting the search for the Romney campaign, has already begun contacting prospective veep picks.  

Newt Gingrich, who took aim at Mitt Romney's history with the private equity firm Bain Capital during the bruising Republican nomination contest, said that such attacks against the presumptive Republican nominee are ineffective.

In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday, the former House Speaker and winner of this year's South Carolina Primary said his ultimate failure as a candidate should serve as a lesson to President Barack Obama, whose campaign has begun to scrutinize Romney's career with Bain.  "That dog won't hunt," Gingrich said.  

A week after President Barack Obama publicly supported same-sex marriage — and a week removed from the state's passage of a sweeping constitutional amendment that guarantees legal recognition only to marriage between a man and a woman — there has been a decided shift in attitudes among African-American voters in North Carolina, according to a new poll.

The latest survey from the Democatic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows that 27 percent of black voters in North Carolina now support the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married, while 59 percent are opposed.  

That represents an 11-point change since PPP's final poll before last week's statewide vote on Amendment One, which was held a day before Obama's much-publicized announcement.  At that time, 20 percent of black voters were in favor of same-sex marriage, while 63 percent were opposed.  

A new poll suggests that a competitive U.S. Senate race could be developing in North Dakota.

The statewide poll of voters deemed likely to vote in the state's June primary — conducted by Essman/Research on behalf of Forum Communications Co — shows that Rep. Rick Berg (R), who was elected to Congress in 2010, leads former Democratic state attorney general Heidi Heitkamp, 51 percent to 44 percent.  Democrats and Republicans will hold their primaries on June 12, with both Berg and Heitkamp regarded as the favorites to claim their respective party's nomination.  

Berg and Heitkamp are seeking the seat being vacated by four-term incumbent Sen. Kent Conrad (D), who announced last year that he will not seek re-election.  

A new poll confirms that the race between President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney is shaping up to be a tight one.  

The poll, conducted by John Zogby on behalf of The Washington Times, shows Romney and Obama in a statistical dead heat: 43.6 percent to 43.2 percent, respectively.  Zogby, who polled likely voters nationwide May 11-12, said the survey reflects what appears to be an extremely competitive contest.  

“It’s tied. That’s pretty much where we are. The poll reveals what everybody feels,” Zogby told The Washington Times.

The TPM Poll Average paints a similar picture of the race, with Obama currently edging Romney by a razor-thin margin.


A clear majority of New Jersey voters favor a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll.  But those same voters overwhelmingly support Gov. Chris Christie's (R) idea to allow voters to decide the fate of the law, which he vetoed after it passed the state legislature earlier this year, through a ballot referendum in November.

In the statewide poll of registered voters, 53 said they support same-sex marriage, while 42 percent are opposed.  But 67 percent said Christie's proposal to bring the law to a statewide vote is a "good idea."  Moreover, voters are split on both Christie's veto and the prospect of a legislative override.  When asked about Christie's veto, 44 percent said the governor did the right thing, while 48 percent said it was the wrong thing to do.  

There is a nearly identical divide over how the Democratic-controlled legislature should respond: 48 percent said that state lawmakers should attempt to override Christie's veto, while 45 percent said that legislators should not pursue that option.  

The latest poll from Fox News shows that a majority of Americans are opposed to a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.  

Among registered voters nationwide, 53 percent were opposed to such an amendment, while 38 percent were in support. That's a far cry from 2004, when a Fox poll found that 52 percent of voters favored a constitutional ban, which presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney has said he supports.  

The most recent Fox poll also found that 37 percent of voters believe gay and lesbian couples should have the right to get married, while 33 percent favor a legal partnership comparable to but not labeled as marriage and 25 percent support no legal recognition.  

The latest survey from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows an extremely competitive gubernatorial race developing in New Hampshire, where current Gov. John Lynch (D) will not seek a fifth two-year term.  

Both parties will hold their primaries on September 11, although the Republican nomination appears to be all but sewn up by Ovide Lamontagne.  Among Republican primary voters in the state, PPP found that Lamontagne — who has previously run unsuccessful campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate —leads former state legislator Kevin Smith, 53 percent to 13 percent.  The Democratic primary figures to be much tighter, with two former state legislators running neck-and-neck.  Among Democratic primary voters, Maggie Hassan edges Jackie Cilley, 23 percent to 20 percent.  

Democrats may struggle to decide which of their two candidates is the most "electable."  In PPP's general election questions, Cilley and Lamontagne are both locked at 38 percent, while Lamontagne narrowly tops Hassan, 40 percent to 39 percent.   

Former Sen. James Abdnor (R-SD) died this morning in Sioux Falls, S.D. He was 89.  

Abdnor's career in the Senate began in 1980 when he defeated former Democratic presidential nominee Sen. George McGovern. Abdnor lost his re-election bid in 1986 to another well-known Democrat from the Mount Rushmore State, former Majority Leader Tom Daschle.  

Mitt Romney is weighing in on the U.S. Senate race in Florida, endorsing Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL).  

Mack is currently battling George LeMieux, a former senator, in a Republican primary. The primary will be held on Aug. 14, with the winner earning the right to take on two-term incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) in the general election.