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

A growing chorus of Republicans are arguing that the deadly storm that rocked the East Coast last week also jeopardized Mitt Romney's presidential prospects, and they appear to be backed up by one of the leading polling organizations in the country.

Gallup on Monday found Romney leading President Barack Obama by a mere point in its final survey before Election Day — a change from the larger margins boasted by the GOP nominee before superstorm Sandy caused Gallup to suspend its daily tracking poll last week. In the final pre-storm poll last Monday — conducted during the 7-day tracking period of Oct. 22-28 — Gallup found Romney earning more than 50 percent among likely voters nationwide and leading the president by 5 points.

From Gallup's analysis:

Current voting preferences mark a return to the status of the race from Oct. 1-7, when Obama and Romney were tied at 48% among likely voters. After that, Romney moved ahead in mid-October during the presidential debate period, holding a three- to five-point lead in Gallup Daily tracking shortly before superstorm Sandy devastated many areas on the East Coast Oct. 29-30. Romney's and Obama's current close positioning in the Nov. 1-4 poll was measured as the Northeast continued to recover from superstorm Sandy, and after Obama's highly visible visit to the region.

Between Oct. 22-28 and Nov. 1-4, voter support for Obama increased by six points in the East, to 58% from 52%, while it held largely steady in the three other regions. This provides further support for the possibility that Obama's support grew as a result of his response to the storm.

President Barack Obama hits 50 percent among likely voters across the country and leads Mitt Romney by 3 points in the final pre-election national tracking poll from ABC News and the Washington Post.

Obama's 3-point edge amounts to a bump since Sunday's release, which showed him leading by a mere point. It's also the largest lead held by either candidate since the ABC/WaPo tracking poll on Oct. 25, which showed Romney leading by an identical 3-point margin.

For the most part, the two have been deadlocked in each edition of the tracking poll. In fact, the two are virtually tied in the average of the "combined 18 waves of the tracking poll," which shows Obama leading by less than a point.

The latest ABC/WaPo tracking poll was conducted Nov. 1-4 using live interviews with 2,345 likely voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

Obama leads by a point, according to the PollTracker Average.



Fifty-two percent of American adults approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in Gallup's tracking survey on Monday, the final such poll to be released before Election Day.The poll shows 45 percent disapprove of Obama's job performance.

Obama notched a 51 percent approval rating in Gallup's previous tracking poll last Monday, before the national firm's operations were suspended due to Superstorm Sandy. He has boasted an approval rating of at least 50 percent in five of the last eight Gallup polls dating back to the tracking period of Oct. 20-22.

Gallup conducted its poll Nov. 1-4 using live interviews with 1,500 American adults. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points. 

The PollTracker Average shows Obama's approval rating above water and a shade below 50 percent.


Earning the support of 50 percent of likely voters in the state, President Barack Obama leads 4 points in New Hampshire, according to the latest poll from New England College released Monday.

The poll indicates that half of likely voters in the Granite State prefer Obama, while 46 percent intend to support Mitt Romney. Obama held a comparable edge in New England College's previous three polls, and the results are identical to the latest survey from the University of New Hampshire that was also released Monday.

Ben Tafoya, director of the New England College poll, said that the recent polls suggest Obama enters Election Day with the wind at his back in New Hampshire.

“For the third poll in a row President Obama is showing strength in New Hampshire,” Tafoya said.  “He must be considered the favorite, by a small margin, to carry the state on Tuesday.”

New England College's latest poll was conducted Nov. 1-4 using live phone interviews with 687 likely New Hampshire voters. It has a margin of error of 3.72 percentage points.

The PollTracker Average captures the president's upward movement in New Hampshire, where he is closing in on 50 percent and which is currently designated as a "leans Obama" state on the TPM Electoral Scoreboard.


President Barack Obama falls just short of 50 percent and leads Mitt Romney by 5 points among likely Ohio voters, according to the latest poll from SurveyUSA released Monday.

The poll, conducted on behalf of WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio, shows 49 percent of likely Buckeye State voters supporting Obama. Romney trails with the support of 44 percent of voters in the state.

The results amount to a modest bump for the president in a state where he has led consistently throughout the campaign. In SurveyUSA's Ohio poll last week, Obama's lead was 3 points.

SurveyUSA's latest poll was conducted Nov. 1-4 using a mix of automated interviews and questionnaires on smartphones, tablets or other electronic devices with 803 likely Ohio voters. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

The PollTracker Average tracks Obama's upward trend to reach the 50 percent threshold in Ohio, which is leaning toward the president on the TPM Electoral Scoreboard.


Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics and author of the political website "Sabato's Crystal Ball," submitted his final prediction for the 2012 presidential election on Monday.

The verdict? Sabato anticipates a second term for Obama, giving the president the edge in the majority of the swing states and asserting that the incumbent drew an eleventh hour political windfall from Superstorm Sandy:

With a slight, unexpected lift provided by Hurricane Sandy, Mother Nature’s October surprise, President Barack Obama appears poised to win his second term tomorrow. Our final Electoral College projection has the president winning the key swing states of Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin and topping Mitt Romney, with 290 electoral votes.

This has been a roller-coaster campaign, though very tight ever since Romney dramatically outshone Obama in the first debate in Denver on Oct. 3. Yet for a challenger to defeat an incumbent, the fates must be with the challenger again and again. Who could have imagined that a Frankenstorm would act as a circuit-breaker on the Republican’s campaign, blowing Romney off center stage for three critical days in the campaign’s last week, while enabling Obama to dominate as presidential comforter-in-chief, assisted by his new bipartisan best friend, Gov. Chris Christie (R)?


President Barack Obama has reached 50 percent and leads Mitt Romney by 4 points in New Hampshire, according to a poll released Monday, putting the incumbent in a solid position to claim the state's potentially election-clinching four electoral votes.

The latest poll from the University of New Hampshire shows half of likely Granite State voters supporting Obama, while Romney trails with 46 percent. In UNH's poll last week, the two were deadlocked at 48 percent.

UNH conducted its latest poll Nov. 1-4 using live phone interviews with 789 likely New Hampshire voters. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

The PollTracker Average shows Obama with a 3.5-point lead in New Hampshire, which is leaning toward the president on the TPM Electoral Scoreboard.




President Barack Obama has eclipsed 50 percent and opened up a 6-point margin in the western battleground of Colorado, according to the latest automated survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling released Monday.

Obama earns the support of 52 of likely Colorado voters in the poll, while Republican nominee Mitt Romney trails with 46 percent support. Obama led by 4-points in PPP's survey of the Centennial State a week ago.

With President Obama in a position to claim a record high share of Latino voters, a leading research firm said Monday that the incumbent's performance among America's fastest growing voting bloc should put him over the top in swing states and help him secure a second term.

Acording to a report by Latino Decisions, Obama is "poised to win a record high share of the Latino vote, and in turn likely to win key swing states and enough electoral college votes to retain the presidency."

Latino Decisions shows Obama earning the support of 73 percent of Latino voters with "consistent vote history or have already voted" — creating big separation from Mitt Romney, who picks up only 24 percent. If Obama reaches such a high-level of support, he would exceed former President Bill Clinton's 72 percent share of the Latino vote in 1996.  Matt Barreto, principal investigator for Latino Decisions, said that could augur well for Obama in a handful of key battlegrounds.

“With 11 weeks of tracking, we are headed towards a record level of Latino votes for a Democratic presidential candidate,” Barreto said. “If Latinos turnout at the high rates we are expecting, they could deliver Nevada, Colorado, Florida and Virginia to Obama.”

The PollTracker Average shows Obama maintaining the wide lead among Latino voters he's held throughout the campaign while also closing in on 70 percent.

President Barack Obama picks up 50 percent support among likely voters nationwide and leads Mitt Romney by 2 points in Sunday's daily tracking poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling. Romney trailed by 3 points in Saturday's tracking poll and has ticked up a point since then.

PPP conducted the survey on behalf of the progressive group Americans United for Change on Nov. 2-4 using automated interviews with 1,200 likely voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

Obama holds a lead of a little less than a point, according to the PollTracker Average.