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

Voters have an unfavorable view of Vice President Joe Biden, while opinion of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is divided, a new poll from Pew Research Center released Wednesday shows.

On the eve of his Thursday night debate with Ryan, Biden's personal popularity is much lower than it was four years ago.  Only 39 percent of registered voters nationwide have a favorable view of the vice president, compared with 51 percent who have an unfavorable view.  Ahead of his 2008 vice presidential debate with Sarah Palin, Biden enjoyed a favorability rating of 53 percent, while only 31 percent had an unfavorable view of the former Delaware senator.

Ryan is viewed slightly more positively by voters: 44 percent told Pew they have a favorable impression of the House Budget Committee chairman, compared with 40 percent who view him unfavorably.


Democrats boast a voter registration advantage over Republicans in four crucial swing states, according to Bloomberg.

Based on state-by-state data, more voters have registered as Democrats in Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Nevada.   Republicans hold the edge in Colorado and New Hampshire, while three other battlegrounds — Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin — don't report party registration statistics.  

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are running neck-and-neck in the western battleground of Nevada, according to a new poll out Wednesday morning.

The latest 8NewsNow/Las Vegas Review-Journal poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, shows Obama earning the support of 47 percent of likely voters, while Romney barely trails with 46 percent support.  

SurveyUSA conducted the poll Oct. 3-8, with the pollster indicating that all of the responses were gathered following last week's presidential debate.  Nevertheless, the poll represents little change from the previous 8NewsNow/Las Vegas Review-Journal poll in August.  Obama clung to a slim lead over Romney in that poll among likely Silver State voters, 47 percent to 45 percent.  

Romney did, however, see a boost to his image in the latest poll.  In August, only 39 percent of Nevada voters had a favorable view of the Republican nominee, compared with 46 percent who had an unfavorable view.  Today, 44 percent of the state's voters view Romney favorably, slightly more than the 43 percent who view him unfavorably.  Forty-four percent of Nevada voters have a favorable view of Obama, while 46 percent view the president unfavorably.

The PollTracker Average currently shows a toss-up in Nevada.


President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are running neck-and-neck in the crucial bellwether of Ohio, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

In the latest poll from SurveyUSA, commissioned by WCMH-TV in Columbus, Obama clings to a 1-point edge over Romney among the state's likely voters, 45 percent to 44 percent.  SurveyUSA conducted its poll Oct. 5-8, entirely after last week's first presidential debate in Denver.

After the Buckeye State appeared to be slipping away from Romney in the month of September, the race seems to have tightened in the all-important battleground.  A CNN poll released Tuesday showed Obama holding a 4-point lead over Romney in Ohio.

The PollTracker Average reflects the tightening in the state, which has moved back to the toss-up column.


Mitt Romney now trails by only 6 points in New Hampshire, according to a new poll released Tuesday evening.

The latest WMUR Granite State poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, shows President Barack Obama leading Romney among likely voters, 47 percent to 41 percent.  Obama held a 15-point lead in last week's Granite State poll, which was conducted Sept. 27-30.

The latest poll was conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 6, with 57 percent of the responses coming before the Oct. 3 presidential debate in Denver.  As has been the case with other post-debate polling shifts, Obama has seen his once-considerable lead among female voters evaporate.  Last week, the president led Romney by a staggering 27 points among New Hampshire women; in Tuesday's poll, Obama's lead among the voting bloc is only 9.  

The PollTracker Average still shows Obama maintaing the solid lead in New Hampshire that he has built up over the course of the race.


Mitt Romney holds a 2-point edge over President Barack Obama in the first installment of Gallup's daily tracking poll to use "likely voters," which was released on Tuesday.

The poll, conducted over seven days from Oct. 2 until Oct. 8, shows Romney with a narrow national lead, 49 percent to 47 percent.  Obama leads among the broader sample of registered voters, 49 percent to 46 percent.

Gallup reported on Monday that Romney saw an immediate bounce in the three days following the Oct. 3 debate.  But Monday's tracking poll, which still used a registered voter sample, showed Obama leading by 5 points while boasting an approval rating 51 percent.  The president's approval rating, based on a 3-day rolling average with a sample of American adults, ticked up to 53 percent in Tuesday's release.

Romney has re-claimed the lead following last week's debate in the PollTracker Average, which currently shows the Republican nominee up by nearly 3 points.


Republican nominee Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama by 2 points, according to a new national survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP).

The poll, conducted on behalf of Daily Kos and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in the days following last Wednesday's debate, shows Romney edging Obama among likely voters nationwide, 49 percent to 47 percent.  Obama held a 4-point lead in last week's PPP survey.  Romney also took a big chunk out of the president's 15-point lead among women from a week ago.  PPP now shows Obama leading by only 6 points among female voters.

But Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, noted in a corresponding blog post that the majority of the poll's interviews were conducted on Thursday and Friday, arguably the apex of the post-debate buzz.  Moulitsas said Romney defeated Obama on those days by 2.5 points, but the former Massachusetts governor's edge subsided over the weekend — and after Friday's encouraging jobs report.   

The PollTracker Average reflects Romney's post-debate gains and currently shows him with a lead over Obama, 48.8 percent to 46.4 percent.


Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) has taken the lead in the marquee U.S. Senate race playing out in Massachusetts, according to a new poll out Tuesday.

The latest survey from MassINC Polling Group shows Brown leading Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren among likely Bay State voters (including leaners), 48 percent to 45 percent.

Tuesday's poll runs counter to what has been a persistent trend, with most surveys over the last month showing Warren outpacing Brown.  In fact, Warren led by 4 points in MassINC's late-September poll.  

The PollTracker Average still shows Warren holding a lead over Brown, 48.2 percent to 44.2 percent.



Correction: This post originally used the topline that excluded voters who are leaning toward a candidate, which showed Brown leading, 47 percent to 43 percent.  It has now been updated to highlight the sample that includes leaners, which shows Brown leading by 3.

Former state attorney general and Democratic nominee Heidi Heitkamp is tied with Rep. Rick Berg (R-ND) in North Dakota's tight Senate race, according to a new poll released Monday night.

The latest poll from Mason-Dixon shows Heitkamp and Berg each earning the support of 47 percent of the state's likely voters.  Both candidates are well-know among voters, and both are viewed favorably.  Heitkamp is viewed favorably 46 percent of North Dakota voters, compared with 35 percent who view her unfavorably.  Forty-two percent have a favorable view of Berg, while 37 percent have an unfavorable view.  

Berg was elected to the House only two years ago after defeating long-time Democratic Congressman Earl Pomeroy.  Heitkamp has been largely out of politics since her defeat in the state's 2000 gubernatorial election.  The two are vying to replace outgoing Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND).  

Despite its competitive nature, the North Dakota Senate race has been lightly polled.  In fact, Monday's survey from Mason-Dixon is one of the only polls of the race that wasn't commissioned by a campaign or political party.  The PollTracker Average currently shows Heitkamp narrowly edging Berg.


Even after a successful performance in the first debate, Mitt Romney is still not viewed as favorably as President Barack Obama, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

The latest poll from ABC News and the Washington Post shows that 47 percent of registered voters view Romney favorably.  That represents a new high for the Republican nominee this election cycle, according to ABC/WaPo.  Fifty-one percent have an unfavorable view of the former Massachusetts governor.  

Obama, however, still trumps his GOP challenger in this category.  Fifty-five percent of voters said they have a favorable view of the president — his highest mark since the spring of 2010 in ABC/WaPo's polling — compared with 44 percent who have an unfavorable view.  Long his most sterling characteristic as a politician, Obama's favorability rating appeared to suffer from the post-debate fallout in Monday's poll from Pew Research Center.  It was the rare survey that showed Romney boasting a better favorability rating — albeit by a narrow margin — than Obama.

The poll was conducted Oct. 4-7.  ABC/WaPo's pollsters noted that Romney saw an immediate bump on the day following the Oct. 3 debate, but that his surge leveled off over the weekend. 

Below, the PollTracker Average shows the disparate favorability ratings of Obama and Romney.