Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in New York City. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, Tom served as assistant polling editor for TPM Media's PollTracker during the 2012 campaign. Before joining TPM, he worked on political campaigns and wrote for various publications in Minnesota and his native South Dakota. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are tied for the second consecutive week in the Daily Kos/SEIU Weekly State of the Nation Poll.

The poll, conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling and released on Tuesday, shows Obama and Romney each picking up the support of 49 percent of likely voters nationwide. In last week's Kos/SEIU Poll, both men earned 48 percent support.

Tuesday's poll was conducted Oct. 25-28 using automated phone interviews with 1400 likely voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.

Less than a point currently separates Romney from Obama in the PollTracker Average.


President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney are completely tied in Florida, according to the latest automated poll from SurveyUSA.

The poll shows Obama and Romney each earning the support of 47 percent of likely Sunshine State voters, while the president claims commanding leads among early voters.

Fifty-seven percent of Florida voters who said they have already cast a ballot did so for the president, compared with 42 percent who indicated they have already voted for Romney. Obama also leads by 10 among those who intend to vote early, while Romney holds a 13-point lead among voters who plan to wait for Election Day.

The PollTracker Average currently shows very little separating the two candidates in Florida, which is designated as a toss-up state on the TPM Electoral Scoreboard.


Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama by a mere point nationally, according to a poll from National Public Radio released on Tuesday.

The poll shows Romney leading Obama among likely voters nationwide 49 percent to 48 percent. Obama and Romney are both viewed favorably by 51 percent of voters surveyed, while the president's approval rating is split: 49 percent approve of the job he is doing, compared with 49 percent who disapprove. The poll also shows that 35 percent of voters have either already cast a ballot or intend to vote early.

NPR's poll was conducted Oct. 23-25 using live phone interviews with 1000 likely voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Romney currently holds a minuscule lead over Obama in the PollTracker Average.


Even as national polls continue to show an extremely tight presidential race, President Barack Obama's level of support may be sold short by pollsters that do not capture a burgeoning segment of the electorate. That's the upshot of a memo released Monday by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. 

According to the memo, national polls conducted by live interviews routinely fail to capture a representative sample of cell phone users in the American electorate, while automated pollsters are legally prohibited from calling cell phones. Most live interview pollsters designate roughly 30 percent of their samples for cell phone users, but GQR contends that the actual portion of the electorate could be closer to 40 percent. 

Such a shortcoming, the memo suggests, carries the potential of pegging Obama's nationwide support at a lower level than it is in reality.

From GQR's analysis: 

In the last half of 2011, 32 percent of adults were cell-phone only according the Center for Disease Control that is the official source on these issues; 16 percent were cell phone mostly. But the proportion cell-phone only has jumped about 2.5 points every six months since 2008 – and is probably near 37 percent now. And pay attention to these numbers for the 2011 adult population:

• More than 40 percent of Hispanic adults are cell phone only (43 percent).
• A disproportionate 37 percent of African Americans are cell only.
• Not surprisingly, almost half of those 18 to 24 years are cell only (49 percent), but an astonishing 60 percent of those 25 to 29 years old only use cell phones.

• But it does not stop there: of those 30 to 34 years, 51 percent are cell only.

Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama by identical margins in the latest installments of two national daily tracking polls.

Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling shows Romney leading Obama among likely voters nationally 49 percent to 48 percent, marking the second day in a row that the Republican nominee has led the president by a point in PPP's tracking. PPP's tracking survey is conducted on behalf of the progressive group Americans United For Change.

For the third consecutive day, the daily tracking poll from ABC News and the Washington Post also shows Romney picking up the support of 49 percent of likely voters while Obama trails with 48 percent.  

The PollTracker Average currently shows Romney leading Obama by less than a point.


President Barack Obama earns the support of more than half of likely Virginia voters and leads Mitt Romney by 4 points in the ultra-competitive battleground, according to a poll from the Washington Post released on Saturday night.

The poll shows Obama leading Romney among likely Commonwealth voters 51 percent to 47 percent. That's narrowly outside of the survey's margin of error of 3.5 percentage points and a tightening since the previous Washington Post poll of Virginia a month ago, which showed the president leading the Republican nominee 52 percent to 44 percent.

But Saturday's poll suggests that Obama has weathered a difficult stretch of the campaign and emerged with the lead in Old Dominion, a state where he had been consistently outpolling Romney during the summer months and through September. The poll indicates that the president has maintained his upper hand over Romney in a key policy area and among an important voting bloc in Virginia.

From the Washington Post's analysis:

Unlike in national polls, Obama still has an edge when Virginia voters are asked who better understands their financial problems, and he has not fallen behind a surging Romney on the question of who would better handle the national economy. Nor has Obama lost significant ground among self-identified independents in Virginia, as he has nationally.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama with a slim lead in Virginia, which is designated as a toss-up state on the TPM Electoral Scoreboard.

There was no change in Gallup's national daily tracking poll on Saturday.  Mitt Romney's 51-46 lead over President Barack Obama among likely voters nationally is identical to the Republican nominee's edge in Friday's poll. Saturday's poll was conducted Oct. 20-26.

Romney currently leads Obama by a single point in the PollTracker Average.


Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) remains within striking distance of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in Missouri's red hot U.S. Senate race, according to a poll released Friday night.

The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon on behalf of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star, shows McCaskill holding a slim lead over Akin among likely Missouri voters 45 percent to 43 percent. Libertarian candidate Jonathan Dine, a potential spoiler for Akin, picks up 4 percent in the poll.

Akin continues to battle low personal popularity. The poll shows only 28 percent of Missouri voters have a favorable view of the six-term member of Congress, while 42 percent have an unfavorable view. McCaskill own personal standing among her constituents isn't much better: 40 percent of voters view the freshman senator favorably, but 47 percent view her unfavorably.

In Mason-Dixon's previous poll of the race — conducted shortly after Akin's infamous remarks about rape and abortion — McCaskill reached 50 percent and led her Republican challenger by 9 points.

The PollTracker Average shows McCaskill with a solid advantage over Akin, a lead she has built up steadily over the last month.