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

Although President Barack Obama has seen solid leads evaporate in the last week, a poll released Saturday night suggests that Ohio may continue to serve as a firewall for his campaign.

The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Obama leading Mitt Romney among likely Ohio voters, 51 percent to 46 percent. That's little change from PPP's pre-debate poll of Ohio two weeks ago, which showed Obama up 4.

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President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney remain virtually tied in the fifth installment of a daily tracking poll sponsored by Investors Business Daily and released on Saturday.  

Obama holds a tiny lead over Romney among likely voters, 46.4 percent to 45.7 percent — identical to the results of Friday's tracking poll.    The pollsters indicated that Saturday's results, based on responses gathered Oct. 7-12, serve as further evidence that Romney's post-debate momentum has begun to recede.

Romney still claims a slim lead over Obama in the PollTracker Average, 47.6 percent to 46.4 percent. 

Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama by 2 points, 49 percent to 47 percent, in Gallup's latest daily tracking poll released Friday afternoon — amounting to no change since Friday's release.  Saturday's poll is based on responses from likely voters nationwide gathered during the 7-day tracking period of Oct. 6-12.

But Saturday's poll also shows Obama's approval rating dipping below 50 percent for only the third time in the previous 12 releases — and the first time since last Sunday — although a slight plurality still approves of the president's job performance.  Forty-eight percent of American adults interviewed during the 3-day tracking period of Oct. 10-12 approve of the job Obama is doing as president, compared with 46 percent who disapprove. 

The PollTracker Average currently shows Romney edging Obama, 47.6 percent to 46.4 percent.


Mitt Romney holds a 1-point lead over President Barack Obama in Colorado, according to a poll released Friday.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of the Denver Post, shows Romney edging Obama among likely voters in the state, 48 percent to 47 percent.  While Romney's slight advantage is a reversal from the 1-point lead Obama held in the Denver Post's early-September poll, it's still well within the margin-of-error in Friday's poll and essentially amounts to a tie.  

Despite Romney's gains — both in the latest Denver Post poll and other surveys this week — 83 percent of Colorado voters said the first presidential debate did not change their mind.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Romney with a slim lead in Colorado, which is in the toss-up column on the TPM Electoral Scoreboard.


The Thursday night debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) resulted in a split-decision, according to a snap poll from CNN/ORC International.

Forty-eight percent of registered voters who watched the debate in Dansville, Ky. said that Ryan was the winner, while 44 said Biden ended up on top.  That's within the poll's margin of error of 5 percentage points.

Keating Holland, polling director for CNN, urged caution to those trying to derive too much meaning from the poll, highlighting the limits of such a survey.  Holland also acknowledged that the poll's sample of debate watchers included more Republicans than the average of recent CNN polls. 

The CNN poll was conducted immediately after the debate using live phone interviews with 381 registered voters nationwide who watched the debate.

Arizona Democratic Senate hopeful Richard Carmona is offering an impassioned rebuttal to Republican Jeff Flake, whose campaign on Thursday dropped a ruthless ad that surfaced stinging allegations of anger management issues against Carmona.

Carmona's camp responded with their own ad featuring retired Capt. Kathleen Brennan, who served as Carmona's SWAT commander in the Pima County, Ariz. sheriff's department. 

"Rich treats everyone with respect," Brennan said in the ad.  "It doesn't matter whether you're male or female."



President Obama's senior campaign adviser David Plouffe dismissed the findings of a Mason-Dixon poll released on Thursday that showed Republican nominee Mitt Romney leading in Florida, 51 percent to 44 percent.

Arguing to the Tampa Bay Times that the poll is "not rooted in reality," Plouffe argued that it was unlikely that Obama is polling so low in the Sunshine State.

"We got 57 percent of the Latino vote, according to exit (polls) last time," Plouffe said.  "We think we'll probably push 60 or above this time.  It's impossible for us to be at 44 in Florida."  

The Mason-Dixon poll was conducted on behalf of the Tampa Bay Times, Bay News 9, Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and Central Florida News 13.


A CBS News snap poll taken after Thursday night's vice presidential debate indicates that half of "uncommitted voters" surveyed believe Vice President Joe Biden bested Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).  

The online poll shows that 50 percent of uncommitted voters — defined as voters who have either not settled on a candidate or who could change their minds — believe Biden won the debate in Danville, Ky., compared with 31 percent who said Ryan won.  Nineteen percent said the debate ended in a tie.

The once-sizable lead claimed by Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey (D) in his re-election bid has been cut in half, a poll released Friday shows.

Casey leads Republican challenger Tom Smith by 10 points among likely Keystone State Voters in the latest Philadelphia Inquirer poll, 48 percent to 38 percent, a sharp drop for the Democratic incumbent since August.  The Inquirer poll that month showed Casey with a wide lead over Smith, 53 percent to 34 percent.

Casey's lead has dwindled since September, according to the PollTracker Average.