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 earns the support of 50 percent of likely New Hampshire voters and leads Mitt Romney by 2 points, according to the latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling.

Obama held a comparable lead over Romney in PPP's poll of the Granite State last week, 48 percent to 46 percent.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) holds a 4-point lead over Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) in Missouri's nationally watched Senate race that's playing out in Missouri, according to a survey by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling released Sunday.

McCaskill claims the support of 48 percent of likely Missouri voters, while Akin trails with 44 percent — a two point uptick for the conservative GOP congressman since PPP's last poll of the race two weeks ago. Libertarian candidate Jonathan Dine, a possible spoiler to Akin, earns the support of 6 percent, just as he did in the late-October poll.

Elected in 2006, McCaskill was widely identified as one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents this cycle. But Akin's infamous "legitimate rape" remarks in August redefined the race, and gave McCaskill's once-dim re-election hopes new life. 

The tumultuous final three months of Akin's campaign are reflected in the PollTracker Average, which currently shows McCaskill leading by almost 4 points. 

PPP conducted it survey Nov. 2-3 using automated interviews with 835 likely Missouri voters. It has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

Same-sex marriage has been defeated each time it's appeared on a state ballot, but two polls released this weekend indicated that the LGBT community's long-awaited electoral breakthrough may come in Maine and Minnesota on Tuesday.

A poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling released late Saturday shows 52 percent of likely Minnesota voters oppose a proposed constitutional amendment to recognize marriage between a man and woman as the only valid union in the state. Forty-five percent support the amendment. PPP's previous Minnesota survey conducted in early-October showed a decidedly tighter race.

In Maine, a survey from in-state pollster Critical Insights released Sunday shows 55 percent of likely voters support a referendum to provide legal recognition to same-sex marriage. Opposition to the measure has jumped 7 points to 42 percent since the previous Critical Insights poll in June, while support has remained largely static.

PPP's survey was conducted Nov. 2-3 using automated interviews with 1,164 likely Minnesota voters with a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points. The Critical Insights poll was conducted on behalf of the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram on Oct. 30-31 using live phone interviews with 613 likely Maine voters. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points. 

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) leads Republican challenger Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) by 6 points, according to a new poll from Mason-Dixon out Sunday.

The poll — conducted on behalf of a handful of in-state news organizations — shows Nelson falling just shy of 50 percent, earning the support of 49 percent of likely Florida voters. Mack trails with 43 percent. 

A two-term incumbent, Nelson's seat has been heavily targetted by the GOP in its effort to re-claim control of the Senate and the race has emerged as one of the nastiest of the 2012 cycle. Sunday's poll indicates that Nelson, who has led consistently throughout the cycle, remains in a strong position to survive his most difficult race since 2000, when he succeeded Mack's father.

The poll was conducted Oct. 30-Nov. 1 using live phone interviews with likely 800 Florida voters. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

The PollTracker Average shows Nelson a shade above 50 percent and leading Mack by 7 points.


President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each earn the support of 48 percent of likely voters nationwide in the latest  Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll released on Sunday.

Obama led Romney by a point in the previous Politico/GWU survey conducted during the final full week of October. The latest poll was conducted Oct. 29-Nov. 1 using live phone interviews with 1,000 likely voters. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.


The race in New York's 24th Congressional District looks like it might be one of the most competitive House races in the country, a new poll out Saturday suggets.

According to the latest survey from Siena Research Institute, freshman Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) and her Democratic challenger Dan Maffei each earn the support of 44 percent of likely voters in the central New York district.

Powered by tea party support and endorsements from Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, Buerkle ousted then-incumbent Maffei two years ago in New York's old 25th District. But Saturday's poll indicates voters' familiarity with the two candidates has done them little favors. At least 50 percent of voters surveyed have an unfavorable opinion of both Buerkle and Maffei, who were locked at 43 percent in Siena's early-September poll.

Siena conducted its poll Oct. 31-Nov. 2 using live phone interviews with 670 likely voters in the 24th District. It has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.

The PollTracker Average likewise shows a close race, with Maffei leading by a razor-thin margin.


President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney in two states that represent perhaps the biggest electoral prizes, according to a pair of new polls released early Saturday morning.

The latest polls from NBC News, Marist College and the Wall Street Journal show Obama holding a comfortable 6-point advantage in Ohio and a slimmer 2-point edge in Florida. 

Obama continues to look like the favorite to bag Ohio's coveted 18 electoral votes, earning the support of 51 percent of likely Buckeye State voters to Romney's 45 percent. Meanwhile, the president claims the support of of 49 percent of likely Florida voters, while the Republican nominee trails with 47 percent support.

The president's margins in each state largely comport with the results of the previous NBC/Marist/WSJ polls of Ohio and Florida a month ago. In early-October, Obama also led Romney in Ohio 51 percent to 45 percent, while the president's lead in Florida has ticked up a point since last month.

The latest NBC/Marist/WSJ polls were conducted Oct. 31-Nov. 1 using live phone interviews with 971 likely Ohio voters and 1,545 likely Florida voters. Ohio's sample has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, while Florida's sample has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

The PollTracker Average shows Obama moving ahead by 2.5 points in Ohio, as Romney continues to hold a lead of a little more than a point in Florida. Ohio is currently marked in the "lean Obama" category on the TPM Electoral Scoreboard, while Florida is designated as a toss-up state.


Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama by 6 points in Florida, according to a new poll from Mason-Dixon released Friday night.

The poll, conducted on behalf of several Florida-based news organizations, shows Romney earning the support of 51 percent of likely Sunshine State voters. Obama trails with 45 percent support.

Brad Coker, director of Mason-Dixon, told the Miami Herald that he's bullish on the Republican nominee's prospects there.

“I’m pretty convinced Romney’s going to win Florida,” Coker said. “Will it be fivepoints? Maybe. Will it be three points? Possibly. I don’t think it’s going to be a recount … I don’t think we’re going to have a recount-race here.”

Mason-Dixon conducted its poll Oct. 30-Nov. 1 using live phone interviews with 800 likely Florida voters. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
The PollTracker Average currently shows Romney leading Obama by nearly 2.5 points in Florida, which is leaning toward the former Massachusetts governor on the TPM Electoral Scoreboard.

It turns out it's hard for pollsters to capture the opinions of America's fastest growing minority group. So hard, according to one researcher in the field, that many polling outfits have misfired in their attempts to survey Latino voters in this year's election.

Matt Barreto, founding principal at the research firm Latino Decisions and professor at the University of Washington, said on Thursday that his work has shown pollsters are often sloppy when they field a Latino sample.

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