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

Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama by a mere point nationally, according to a poll from National Public Radio released on Tuesday.

The poll shows Romney leading Obama among likely voters nationwide 49 percent to 48 percent. Obama and Romney are both viewed favorably by 51 percent of voters surveyed, while the president's approval rating is split: 49 percent approve of the job he is doing, compared with 49 percent who disapprove. The poll also shows that 35 percent of voters have either already cast a ballot or intend to vote early.

NPR's poll was conducted Oct. 23-25 using live phone interviews with 1000 likely voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Romney currently holds a minuscule lead over Obama in the PollTracker Average.


Even as national polls continue to show an extremely tight presidential race, President Barack Obama's level of support may be sold short by pollsters that do not capture a burgeoning segment of the electorate. That's the upshot of a memo released Monday by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. 

According to the memo, national polls conducted by live interviews routinely fail to capture a representative sample of cell phone users in the American electorate, while automated pollsters are legally prohibited from calling cell phones. Most live interview pollsters designate roughly 30 percent of their samples for cell phone users, but GQR contends that the actual portion of the electorate could be closer to 40 percent. 

Such a shortcoming, the memo suggests, carries the potential of pegging Obama's nationwide support at a lower level than it is in reality.

From GQR's analysis: 

In the last half of 2011, 32 percent of adults were cell-phone only according the Center for Disease Control that is the official source on these issues; 16 percent were cell phone mostly. But the proportion cell-phone only has jumped about 2.5 points every six months since 2008 – and is probably near 37 percent now. And pay attention to these numbers for the 2011 adult population:

• More than 40 percent of Hispanic adults are cell phone only (43 percent).
• A disproportionate 37 percent of African Americans are cell only.
• Not surprisingly, almost half of those 18 to 24 years are cell only (49 percent), but an astonishing 60 percent of those 25 to 29 years old only use cell phones.

• But it does not stop there: of those 30 to 34 years, 51 percent are cell only.

Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama by identical margins in the latest installments of two national daily tracking polls.

Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling shows Romney leading Obama among likely voters nationally 49 percent to 48 percent, marking the second day in a row that the Republican nominee has led the president by a point in PPP's tracking. PPP's tracking survey is conducted on behalf of the progressive group Americans United For Change.

For the third consecutive day, the daily tracking poll from ABC News and the Washington Post also shows Romney picking up the support of 49 percent of likely voters while Obama trails with 48 percent.  

The PollTracker Average currently shows Romney leading Obama by less than a point.


President Barack Obama earns the support of more than half of likely Virginia voters and leads Mitt Romney by 4 points in the ultra-competitive battleground, according to a poll from the Washington Post released on Saturday night.

The poll shows Obama leading Romney among likely Commonwealth voters 51 percent to 47 percent. That's narrowly outside of the survey's margin of error of 3.5 percentage points and a tightening since the previous Washington Post poll of Virginia a month ago, which showed the president leading the Republican nominee 52 percent to 44 percent.

But Saturday's poll suggests that Obama has weathered a difficult stretch of the campaign and emerged with the lead in Old Dominion, a state where he had been consistently outpolling Romney during the summer months and through September. The poll indicates that the president has maintained his upper hand over Romney in a key policy area and among an important voting bloc in Virginia.

From the Washington Post's analysis:

Unlike in national polls, Obama still has an edge when Virginia voters are asked who better understands their financial problems, and he has not fallen behind a surging Romney on the question of who would better handle the national economy. Nor has Obama lost significant ground among self-identified independents in Virginia, as he has nationally.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama with a slim lead in Virginia, which is designated as a toss-up state on the TPM Electoral Scoreboard.

There was no change in Gallup's national daily tracking poll on Saturday.  Mitt Romney's 51-46 lead over President Barack Obama among likely voters nationally is identical to the Republican nominee's edge in Friday's poll. Saturday's poll was conducted Oct. 20-26.

Romney currently leads Obama by a single point in the PollTracker Average.


Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) remains within striking distance of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in Missouri's red hot U.S. Senate race, according to a poll released Friday night.

The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon on behalf of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star, shows McCaskill holding a slim lead over Akin among likely Missouri voters 45 percent to 43 percent. Libertarian candidate Jonathan Dine, a potential spoiler for Akin, picks up 4 percent in the poll.

Akin continues to battle low personal popularity. The poll shows only 28 percent of Missouri voters have a favorable view of the six-term member of Congress, while 42 percent have an unfavorable view. McCaskill own personal standing among her constituents isn't much better: 40 percent of voters view the freshman senator favorably, but 47 percent view her unfavorably.

In Mason-Dixon's previous poll of the race — conducted shortly after Akin's infamous remarks about rape and abortion — McCaskill reached 50 percent and led her Republican challenger by 9 points.

The PollTracker Average shows McCaskill with a solid advantage over Akin, a lead she has built up steadily over the last month.


Mitt Romney continues to hold a lead over President Barack Obama in Republican-leaning Rasmussen's daily tracking poll.

Saturday's release, conducted Oct. 24-26, shows Romney leading Obama among likely voters nationwide 50 percent to 46 percent. It's the fifth consecutive day that the Republican nominee has polled at 50 percent in Rasmussen's tracking. 

President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney remain deadlocked, according to Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling's latest national tracking poll. 

The poll, conducted Wednesday through Friday on behalf of the progressive group Americans United for Change, shows Obama and Romney each earning 48 percent support among likely voters nationwide — a mirror image to PPP's previous tracking poll.

Romney currently holds a 1-point lead lead over Obama in the PollTracker Average, although the president continues to claim the upper hand on the TPM Electoral Scoreboard.