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

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.

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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.  

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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.








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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."  


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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.   

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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.



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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. 


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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.


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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.


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