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

Elizabeth Warren continues to hold the lead over Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) that she built in the weeks following the Democratic National Conventio, a pair of new polls show.

A poll released on Sunday that was conducted by the University of New Hampshire and commissioned by the Boston Globe showed Warren leading Brown, 43 percent to 38 percent.  The poll was striking for its number of undecided voters: 18 percent of likely voters surveyed said they had not made up their minds.

A new survey released today that was conducted by MassINC Polling Group and commissioned by Boston public radio affiliate WBUR shows Warren holding a 4-point lead over Brown among likely voters (including leaners), 49 percent to 45 percent.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Warren leading Brown by 4, 47.9 percent to 43.9 percent.


As early voting kicks off in states across the country, new polls out Thursday show more than 50 percent of President Barack Obama's supporters in three battlegrounds will submit their ballots before Election Day.

The latest polls from NBC News, Marist College and the Wall Street Journal show that the president's supporters in North Carolina, New Hampshire and Nevada are far more likely than supporters of Mitt Romney to vote early or by absentee.  

Among Obama's supporters, 57 percent in North Carolina, 55 percent in New Hampshire and 53 percent in Nevada say they will cast their ballots before November 6.  Only a little more than 40 percent of Romney's supporters in the three swing states say they intend to vote early.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on Friday asserted that her opponent, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), is to the right of even the most fringe members of the Republican Party.

"If you look at some of the things that Todd Akin has said over the years, I mean, he's said things like in the heart of liberalism is a hatred of God. He has been a handful of votes against things like the sex offender registry, and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children," McCaskill told the panel on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."  "I mean, this is somebody who kind of makes Michele Bachmann look like a hippie."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Friday raised the stakes for next week's first presidential debate, arguing that President Barack Obama can seal a victory with a genuine performance against Mitt Romney.

"It has to be a campaign of contrast, not a campaign of attack," Gingrich said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."  "Part of the contrast has to be disarming the president.  Because if the president's believeable — this is where [Bill] Clinton was so good — if the president is believeable at the end of the first debate, there is a very high likelihood he'll be re-elected."

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) has some much-needed breathing room in his bid for a re-election in Nevada, according to a new poll released last night.

In the poll from NBC News, Marist College and the Wall Street Journal, Heller leads Democratic challenger Shelley Berkley among likely Nevada voters, 49 percent to 43 percent.  The poll provides some relief to the Heller campaign after the race had tightenend this month.

Heller edges Berkley by 2.7 points, according to the PollTracker Average — a much narrower margin than the larger leads he claimed earlier in the campaign.

President Barack Obama holds a lead outside the margin-of-error over Mitt Romney in New Hampshire but the race is tight in Nevada, according to new polls out Thursday evening.

The latest swing state polls from NBC News, Marist College and the Wall Street Journal show Obama leading by 7 points among likely voters in New Hampshire, 51 percent to 44 percent.  Romney is personally unpopular in the Granite State, where he maintains a home.  Forty-three percent of New Hampshire voters view the Republican nominee favorably, compared with 52 percent who view him unfavorably.

The contest is closer in Nevada, where Obama leads Romney, 49 percent to 47 percent.  Perhaps no state was hit harder by the recession than the Silver State, but Obama holds his own against Romney on the all-important issue of the economy there.  Forty-eight percent of Nevada voters believe Romney would do a better job handling the economy, while 47 percent say Obama.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama holding roughly 4-point leads in both New Hampshire and Nevada.



Correction: This post originally referred to New Hampshire as the Nutmeg State.  In fact, the Nutmeg State is the nickname of Connecticut, whereas New Hampshire is known as the Granite State.  TPM regrets the error.

A majority of voters in arguably the three most crucial swing states prefer President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney to handle Medicare, according to new polls out Thursday.

According to the latest findings from The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, Obama claims a strong advantage over Romney on the issue among likely voters in Florida, Virginia and Ohio.  

By a margin of 53 percent to 41 percent, voters in Florida say Obama would do a better job handling the nation's health care system for senior citizens.  Obama boasts an 11-point edge over Romney on Medicare in Virginia, 53 percent to 41 percent.  

The president's largest advantage comes in Ohio, where 56 percent of voters say they prefer Obama to handle Medicare, compared with just 40 percent who prefer Romney.  

Nationally, the president is also seen as the better candidate for Medicare.  The PollTracker Average shows that Obama has expanded his advantage on the issue over the last month, coinciding with his growing leads overall in swing states and nationwide.


Mitt Romney's campaign has sought to highlight the recent tension in the Middle East as an example of President Barack Obama's weakness on foreign policy, but a new poll released Wednesday suggests that Americans still have more confidence in the current commander-in-chief on that front.

The latest Bloomberg National Poll shows that likely voters believe Obama would be better-equipped than Romney to handle the often-tumultuous events in the Middle East, 49 percent to 38 percent.

But by a margin of 48 percent to 42 percent, voters believe Romney would be tougher on terrorism than Obama, who has held a consistent advantage on the issue since the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden.  

With each recent poll, Ohio has begun to look less like a swing state and more like a road map back to the private sector for Mitt Romney.

A series of miscues on important Ohio issues and a successful effort by President Barack Obama's campaign to define the Republican challenger have made Romney's odds look increasingly long in the Rust Belt bellwether. Eight of the 12 public polls conducted after the Democratic National Convention have shown Romney with at least a 4-point deficit and one on Wednesday showed him down by 10. No Republican candidate has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Wednesday joined the chorus of Republicans pushing back against the slew of polls showing President Barack Obama expanding his lead in various swing states.

Asserting that the race is still "incredibly tight" in states such as Ohio, Walker told Fox's Neil Cavuto that the recent surveys may be undersampling Romney voters because Republicans are often reticent when approached by pollsters, pointing to exit polls that incorrectly suggested he would face a tight recall fight in June.  Walker ended up winning the recall election over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by a comfortable margin.

 "Particularly in the exit polls, and sometimes people who tend to be a little bit more right-of-center, conservative voters are reluctant to talk to the media, period," Walker said.  "And so they under-represent the sample."