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

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are locked in a tie, according to the inaugural tracking poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) on Thursday.

The automated poll, conducted Oct. 15-17 on behalf of the progressive group Americans United for Change, shows Obama and Romney each earning the support of 48 percent of likely voters nationwide.  Half of voters surveyed disapprove of the job Obama is doing as president, while 46 percent approve.  

Obama does not claim an edge over Romney in the area of personal popularity — a departure from a trend that has spanned the majority of the campaign.  Thursday's poll shows 47 percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of the president, compared with 49 percent who have an unfavorable opinion.  But opinion of Romney is also divided: 47 percent view the Republican nominee favorably, while another 47 percent have an unfavorable view.  

President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney by 1 in Ohio, according to an automated survey from Republican-leaning Rasmussen released on Thursday.  

The one day snap poll, conducted on Oct. 17 after Tuesday's town hall debate, shows Obama edging Romney among likely Buckeye State voters, 49 percent to 48 percent.  Obama has held a 1-point lead over Romney in Rasmussen's previous four surveys of Ohio, dating back to September 12.  

The PollTracker Average currently places Ohio in toss-up territory on the TPM Electoral Scoreboard, after Obama had maintained a consistent advantage there throughout the campaign.


Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren has built a 9-point lead over Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) in the closely watched Massachusetts Senate race, a poll released Wednesday shows.

The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Warren leading Brown among likely Bay State voters 53 percent to 44 percent.  That's Warren's largest lead in PPP's polling and also a 3-point bounce from a week ago.  Last week, PPP showed the Harvard law professor holding a 6-point lead over Brown.  

Equally disconcerting for the Republican incumbent is his declining approval rating.  Massachusetts voters are split when it comes to Brown's job performance in Wednesday's poll, with 46 percent approving and 45 percent disapproving.  In last week's poll, 49 percent approved of Brown's job performance, while 42 percent disapproved.  PPP's latest survey was conducted on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters, a group that has endorsed Warren.

The PollTracker Average shows Warren's lead growing to roughly 6 points. 


President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney by 3 in Ohio in a poll from SurveyUSA.

The automated poll, conducted Oct. 12-15 on behalf of Columbus-based NBC affiliate WCMH-TV, shows Obama leading Romney among likely Buckeye State voters, 45 percent to 42 percent.  Nine percent said they remain undecided.  Obama's lead over Romney swells among Ohio voters who have already cast their ballots, 57 percent to 38 percent.  The two are tied among those who haven't voted yet.  

Obama led by only a point in SurveyUSA's previous poll of Ohio, conducted the first weekend of October. The PollTracker Average shows the president with a tiny lead there.  

President Barack Obama's once-massive lead in Wisconsin is now virtually nonexistent, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The latest Marquette University Law School poll shows Obama with a negligible lead over Mitt Romney among likely Badger State voters, 49 percent to 48 percent. That's a big dip for Obama since Marquette's previous two polls, both of which were conducted prior to the Oct. 3 debate in Denver. In Marquette's mid-September poll, Obama claimed a 14-point lead in Wisconsin. The president's lead shrunk some by the end of September, but Marquette still showed him up 11.

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A super PAC mailer hitting homes this week for the Indiana Senate race has rankled the very person the candidates are trying to replace.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), who lost his primary earlier this year to tea party-backed candidate Richard Mourdock, blasted the mailer on Wednesday for claiming he now supports his former opponent. His office released a statement calling the ad "misleading."

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By a 4-point margin, Colorado voters who watched Tuesday night's debate gave the edge to President Barack Obama, a snap poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows.  

Forty-eight percent of those voters surveyed by PPP said Obama won the town hall debate in Hempstead, N.Y., while 44 percent said Mitt Romney emerged on top.  Obama won the debate among Colorado independents by an even wider margin, 58 percent to 36 percent.  

PPP conducted the survey using automated interviews with 438 Colorado voters who watched the debate. 

Forty-six percent of registered voters who tuned in to Tuesday night's town hall debate in Hempstead, N.Y. declared President Barack Obama the winner, according to a snap poll from CNN and ORC International.

The poll shows that 39 percent of voters who watched the second debate said Mitt Romney topped the president.  Obama's 7-point edge over Romney is within the poll's margin of error.

Still, that's a big change from the first presidential debate, after which Romney was universally dubbed the winner.  Obama's lackluster performance in that debate may have lowered the bar for him this time around: 73 percent of voters surveyed in the CNN/ORC poll said the president did better than expected on Tuesday.  

The poll's sample of 457 registered voters was comprised of 33 percent of Democrats and 33 percent of Republicans.  That means the sample included more Republicans than the average of CNN polls conducted during the 2012 cycle. 

Presidential candidates typically spend big money to compete in Pennsylvania. For Mitt Romney, all it took was one standout debate.

The Republican presidential nominee has seen a surge in the polls there since the Oct. 3 debate in Denver, suggesting that Pennsylvania may no longer be a lock for President Obama. Romney's rise comes despite reports showing that his campaign hasn't spent a dime on advertising in the Keystone State and may have dispatched staffers from there to states that looked more competitive before the debate.

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President Obama's current level of support in Gallup's daily tracking survey represents a clear dip among several voting blocs since 2008, the national polling firm reported on Tuesday.  

The chart below compares how Obama stacked up with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in the final week of the campaign four years ago with how he fares against Republican nominee Mitt Romney today.  

From Gallup:

In order to compare Obama's support today with 2008, the data in the graph below for both 2008 and 2012 are re-percentaged on the basis of support for the Democratic and Republican candidates only, excluding "no opinion" responses and support for minor third-party candidates. The 2008 results reflect an additional adjustment to align Gallup's final likely voter result with the election outcome.