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

Rick Santorum continues to show his strength in the rust belt with a new poll by the University of Cincinnati showing the former Pennsylvania senator holding a solid lead in Ohio, one of several states hosting its primary on March 6.

The statewide survey of Republican primary voters shows Santorum with 37 percent support, while Mitt Romney comes in second with 26 percent.  Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul claim 16 percent and 11 percent respectively.

Santorum is currently running neck-and-neck with Romney in Michigan.  A win in the Wolverine State today coupled with a victory in Ohio on "Super Tuesday" would allow Santorum to claim an advantage among working class voters, a crucial general election demographic and a voting bloc that Romney has struggled to win over.  The TPM Poll Average in Ohio also shows Santorum, who was in the doldrums in the Buckeye State at the beginning of the year, with an eleven point lead over Romney.



A new poll released by SurveyUSA shows Newt Gingrich holding a comfortable lead ahead of the March 6 (better known as "Super Tuesday") primary in his stomping ground of Georgia. 

Among likely Republican primary voters in the Peach State, Gingrich claims the support of 39 percent, giving the former House Speaker a healthy cushion against Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, who get 24 percent and 23 percent respectively. 

The poll represents a bad omen for Romney, whose difficulty to win over ardent conservatives has dogged him throughout the race.  Romney is struggling to gain traction in other southern states such as Tennesee and Oklahoma, which are also hosting primaries on Super Tuesday. The TPM Poll Average of Georgia also shows Gingrich as the clear favorite to win there, with Romney a distant third. 


A new snap poll of Arizona shows Mitt Romney with some breathing room ahead of Tuesday's primary in the Grand Canyon State. 

Rasmussen's statewide survey of likely Republican primary voters shows Romney leading Rick Santorum, 42 percent to 29 percent.  Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul claim the support of 16 percent and 8 percent respectively.

The poll, which was conducted on Thursday, indicates that the GOP race in Arizona has stabilized in Romney's favor after other surveys released in the last week showed Santorum gaining momentum there.  While the gap is not nearly as wide in the TPM Poll Average, it also shows Romney holding a clear advantage in Arizona.


Rasmussen is out with a new survey of Virginia and it shows President Barack Obama besting both of his most likely Republican general election opponents in the key battleground state. 

In the survey of likely voters in the Commonwealth, Obama holds a six point advantage over Mitt Romney, 49 percent to 43 percent.  The president fares even better against Rick Santorum, topping the former Pennsylvania senator 51 percent to 43 percent.  Perhaps equally important for Obama, the poll shows his job approval above 50 percent among respondents. 

Obama won Virginia in 2008 and it will be an integral part of his map to re-election.  The TPM Poll Average currently shows an extremely close race there, with the president edging Romney by the narrowest of margins.


Over the course of the campaign, Mitt Romney has tried to show his lighter side by invoking a famous line by George Costanza, the short, stocky, bald character from "Seinfeld," played by Jason Alexander.  Romney turned to the quote again when he was introduced before last night's debate: "As George Costanza would say: when they're applauding, stop."

That got the attention of Alexander, who took to Twitter early this morning to fire back at the former Massachusetts governor with a snarky retort. "Thrilled Gov. Romney enjoys my old character," Alexander wrote. "I enjoyed the character he used 2 b 2. If he'd embrace that again, he'd b a great candidate."

The latest AP-Gfk poll serves as further confirmation that Barack Obama has emerged as the early frontrunner in the 2012 presidential election, with the survey showing the president topping all four potential Republican general election opponents.  

In the nationwide survey of adults. Obama breaks the 50 percent threshold in every hypothetical general election matchup, perhaps most importantly against his two most likely GOP challengers.  The president bests Mitt Romney, 51 percent to 43 percent, and Rick Santorum, 52 percent to 43 percent. 

Boosted by recent good economic news and a contentious Republican nomination battle, Obama has held an advantage over Romney in our TPM Poll Average since the beginning of the new year. 

Even in the midst of Newt Gingrich's campaign steep fall since his decisive victory in the South Carolina primary last month, the former House Speaker has taken solace in his seemingly strong standing in states like Georgia, a state he served in public office for twenty years.  But a new InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research poll of the Peach State shows that Gingrich's southern strategy is also suffering.

The statewide survey of likely Georgia primary voters shows Gingrich clinging to a small lead in his home state with 25.9 percent support, while Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum poll at 23.9 percent and 22.8 percent respectively.  Ron Paul comes in fourth with 11.7 percent.  

The timing of the poll couldn't be worse for Gingrich, who on Sunday said that a loss in one's home state reflects "a very, very badly weakened candidacy."  Georgia is one of 11 states holding its primaries or caucuses on March 6 (widely known as "Super Tuesday"), a day that Gingrich hopes will resuscitate his flagging campaign. 


In the latest sign that Mitt Romney's road to the Republican presidential nomination could get rocky, a new PPP (D) survey shows the former Massachusetts governor nursing a razor-thin lead over Rick Santorum in Arizona.  Like Michigan, the Grand Canyon State's winner-take-all primary will be held on February 28, a potentially watershed day in the GOP's race for president.

PPP's statewide survey of likely Arizona primary voters shows Romney narrowly edging Santorum, 36 percent to 33 percent. Newt Gingrich claims the support of 16 percent of respondents, while Ron Paul comes in fourth with 9 percent. 

Many viewed Arizona as a buffer for Romney against a potential setback in Michigan, where he was born and raised. 

Speaking at a town hall-style event at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, Newt Gingrich mocked the Obama Administration's promotion of smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles.

"Let me start from a simple premise that Oklahomans will understand: you cannot put a gun rack in a Volt," Gingrich said. 

While his controversial Super Bowl ad may prove to be a liability in the general election, former Republican congressman Pete Hoekstra remains the prohibitive favorite to claim his party's nomination in the United States Senate race in Michigan. 

A new poll conducted by the Glengariff Group and comissioned by The Detroit News, WDIV-TV and WZZM-TV shows Hoekstra dominating his GOP rivals. In the statewide survey of likely Republican primary voters, Hoekstra claims the support of 50.2 percent of respondents. No other candidate eclipses the five percent threshold.

A PPP (D) survey released earlier this week showed Democratic incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow holding a commanding lead over Hoekstra, with many respondents giving the congressman's television ad unfavorable reviews.