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

Nate Silver's polling analysis has been both manna for political junkies and a lightning rod for criticism from conservatives during the 2012 campaign. A report Tuesday indicates it has also been a major driver of the New York Times' web traffic.

According to The New Republic, 20 percent of visitors to the Times’ website made a stop at Silver's blog "FiveThirtyEight."

From TNR:

The Times does not release traffic figures, but a spokesperson said yesterday that Silver’s blog provided a significant—and significantly growing, over the past year—percentage of Times pageviews. This fall, visits to the Times’ political coverage (including FiveThirtyEight) have increased, both absolutely and as a percentage of site visits. But FiveThirtyEight’s growth is staggering: where earlier this year, somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of politics visits included a stop at FiveThirtyEight, last week that figure was 71 percent.

More from TNR:

According to Alexa, a Web information company, “538” is the eighth-most searched-for term that led visitors to the Times last month. And over the previous month, it grew more than any other referral term; other increasingly relevant terms were “nate silver” and “538.com.” Notably, no other Times staffers or brands appear on Alexa's lists of top referral terms or rising referral terms.

Correction: The post has been changed to indicate that 20 percent of Monday's visitors to the New York Times' website also visited FiveThirtyEight.


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When the results of the 2012 presidential election pour in Tuesday night, the lights of the Empire State Building will keep New Yorkers updated in real time. 

From CNN:

As CNN projects winners in each state, the iconic beacon of Gotham will be exclusively displaying the race to 270 electoral votes with a vertical LED illuminated “meter” on its spire—blue for President Obama, and red for former Governor Romney.

And when CNN projects a winner in the presidential election, the full spire and upper floors change colors to either red or blue.

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In an interview that aired Tuesday, President Barack Obama told radio host Ryan Seacrest that he's optimistic about the employment outlook for college graduates entering the work force.

"Well, what we've seen over the last 32 months, five and a half million new jobs created and the unemployment rate steadily moving down," Obama told Seacrest. "And so, job prospects for young people, especially if they're getting some sort of advanced degree -- whether it's at a community college or a four-year college -- the prospects for young people are going to be great. And it's going to be very important that we continue this progress and a lot of the debate during this campaign is, do we go back to the policies that got us in trouble in the first place or do we make investments in things like helping young people afford college."

The president also offered an Election Day admonition to listeners.

“The first thing is vote," Obama said. "Regardless of who you’re voting for our democracy works when the American people get involved. The American people are decent, hard working, and they’ve got great instincts. The more people participate the better the outcome.”

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Mitt Romney enters Election Day with a 1-point lead in the final national tracking poll from Republican-leaning Rasmussen released Tuesday. 

According to the poll, Romney earns the support of 49 percent of likely voters nationwide, while President Barack Obama trails with 48 percent support. The Republican nominee led by an identical margin in Rasmussen's poll on Monday, and the two candidates were locked at 49 percent on Sunday.

Tuesday's poll also shows that 50 percent approve of the job Obama is doing — the fifth consecutive day Rasmussen has shown the president with an approval rating of at least 50 percent.

The latest poll was conducted Nov. 3-5 using automated interviews with 1,500 likely voters across the country. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Obama currently holds an Election Day lead of about a half-point, according to the PollTracker Average.



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President Obama crosses the 50 percent threshold among likely voters nationally and leads Mitt Romney by almost 2 points, according to the final IBD/TIPP poll released early Tuesday morning.

The poll shows Obama earning the support of 50.3 percent, while Romney trails with 48.7 percent support.  Obama led by a comparable margin in the previous IBD/TIPP poll on Oct. 28, but his level of support was 5 points lower. 

The poll was conducted Nov. 3-5 using live phone interviews with 712 likely voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points. The IBD/TIPP poll was suspended last week due to superstorm Sandy. 

Obama holds a 1-point lead over Romney on Election Day, according to the PollTracker Average.



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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.

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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.



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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.


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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.


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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.


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