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

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.


Mitt Romney reaches the 50 percent threshold and leads President Barack Obama by 4 points in the latest Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation Poll released on Tuesday.

The poll, conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP), shows Romney leading Obama among likely voters nationwide, 50 percent to 46 percent.  Romney held a 2-point lead over Obama in last week's Daily Kos/SEIU poll.  

With the addition of Tuesday's Daily Kos/SEIU poll, which was conducted Oct. 12-14, Romney has moved ahead of Obama in the PollTracker Average.


Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) leads by 3 points over his Republican challenger, businessman Tom Smith, in a new poll released Tuesday morning.

According to the latest poll from Quinnipiac University, Casey leads Smith among likely Pennsylvania voters, 48 percent to 45 percent.  Casey, who was elected in 2006 by way of a landslide victory over Rick Santorum, held a 6-point lead in a late-September poll released jointly by Quinnipiac, CBS News and the New York Times.  In a July Quinnipiac/CBS/NYT poll, Casey led by 18 points.  

Smith might be moving up in the polls by riding Mitt Romney's coattails.  Tuesday's poll from Quinnipiac also shows the Republican nominee, who's made inroads both nationally and in various battlegrounds following his successful first debate, trailing President Barack Obama by only 4 points in Pennsylvania.  

The PollTracker Average currently shows Casey leading Smith, 46.5 percent to 41.4 percent. 


While previous polls showed that voters overwhelmingly expected President Barack Obama to best Mitt Romney in the first presidential debate, a new survey released from Pew Research Center on Monday indicates that predictions for round two are much more divided.

The poll shows that 41 percent of registered voters believe Obama will win Tuesday night's town hall debate in Long Island, N.Y., compared with 37 percent who said Romney will emerge on top.  

Those are very different results from Pew's first pre-debate poll and undoubtedly a result of Obama's underwhelming performance in his head-to-head outing with Romney on Oct. 3 in Denver.  In that poll, conducted Sept. 27-30, 51 percent of voters said they expected Obama to do a better job in the debate, while a mere 29 percent said Romney would outperform the president.  

President Barack Obama holds small leads among likely voters nationwide, according to two polls released Monday morning, although Mitt Romney remains in striking distance.

One poll, from ABC News and the Washington Post, shows Obama leading Romney 49 percent to 46 percent, little change from their survey in late September that showed Obama up by 2 points. Thirty-seven percent of likely voters have a more favorable view of Romney following his performance in the first debate in Denver, compared with a mere 8 percent who now have a more positive impression of the president. But 72 percent said the debate did not change how they view Obama, and 47 percent indicated that their views of Romney were unchanged.

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President Barack Obama holds a 4-point lead over Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, according to a poll released Monday.

The latest poll conducted by Muhlenberg College on behalf of The Morning Call shows Obama leading Romney among likely Keystone State voters, 49 percent to 45 percent.  Obama led Romney by 7 points in Muhlenberg's poll of Pennsylvania in late-September.