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

In the first national poll to be conducted entirely after the opening presidential debate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney now leads President Barack Obama by 4 points.

The poll, conducted by Pew Research Center from Thursday through Sunday and released on Monday, shows Romney leading Obama among likely voters nationwide, 49 percent to 45 percent. That's a stark contrast from Pew's mid-September poll after both parties' conventions, which showed Obama up 8 points among likely voters.

The dramatic 12-point swing in Pew's poll from Obama to Romney is perhaps the strongest piece of evidence to date that the president has paid a political price for his listless performance in the Denver debate. But the complete suite of post-debate surveys from national pollsters is only beginning to emerge, and the early indications are of a less dramatic shift than what Pew is showing.

Read More →

Mitt Romney has taken a big slice into President Barack Obama's once-solid lead in Michigan, a new survey released Monday by a prominent in-state pollster shows.

The latest poll from Lansing, Mich.-based firm EPIC-MRA, conducted entirely after last Wednesday's debate on behalf of the Detroit Free Press, shows Obama holding a small lead over Romney among likely Michigan voters, 48 percent to 45 percent.  

That's within the poll's margin of error of 4 percentage points and a sharp dip from EPIC's poll a month ago, which showed the president boasting a 10-point lead in the Great Lake State, where many expected Obama to receive a big boost from his administration's successful restructuring of the U.S. automakers.

The PollTracker Average continues to show Obama in a strong position in Michigan, where he currently leads by nearly 7 points.


President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney by 5 points among registered voters and boasts an approval rating above 50 percent, according to Monday's daily tracking numbers from Gallup.

In the head-to-head, Obama outpaces Romney, 50 percent to 45 percent. But that 5-point margin is based on responses gathered during the tracking period of Oct. 1-7, which means that it was partially conducted before the Oct. 3 debate and partially after Friday's jobs report.

Obama's approval rating may serve as a fresher indicator of the state of the race. Using a 3-day rolling average, the latest approval rating from Gallup is based on the tracking period of Oct. 5-7, which encompasses the aftermath of the first debate and the two days that immeidately followed the jobs report. Fifty-one percent of American adults surveyed in Monday's release approve of the president's job performance, compared with 44 percent who disapprove.

A referendum to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington is a strong favorite to pass next month, according to a new poll released over the weekend.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA and commissioned by KING-5 News in Seattle, shows 55 percent of likely voters support Referendum 74, which would affirm a law signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) in February that made Washington the seventh state to legalize marriage for same-sex couples.  Only 40 percent are opposed to the measure.

Polls have consistently shown around 50 percent support for Referendum 74, as evidenced by the PollTracker Average. 


Mitt Romney's post-debate bounce found by Republican-leaning pollster Rasmussen's over the weekend appears to have tapered off.  

In Rasmussen's Saturday release of its daily tracking poll, Romney led President Barack Obama among likely voters, 49 percent to 47 percent — a reverse from Obama's 2-point edge found in the previous day's release.  Based on a 3-day rolling average, Saturday's release was based on findings from Wednesday through Friday, which means that it included some pre-debate responses.

Obama and Romney each draw the support of 48 percent of likely voters in Monday's poll, which is based on responses gathered Oct. 5-7.  That tracking period encompasses both the aftermath of the Oct. 3 debate and the two days following Friday's solid jobs report.  

Mitt Romney erased a 5-point deficit to tie President Barack Obama in the period after last week's first debate, according to Gallup's tracking poll.

Among registered voters surveyed in the three days immediately following the Oct. 3 debate in Denver, Obama and Romney each earn the support of 47 percent.  In the pre-debate tracking period — Sept. 30-Oct. 2 — Obama held a solid lead over his Republican challenger, 50 percent to 45 percent.

An additional poll by Gallup also shows that the public overwhelmingly identifies Romney as the winner of the opening debate: 72 percent of debate watchers gave the edge to Romney, compared with only 20 percent who said Obama did a better job.  According to the poll, conducted Oct. 4-5, approximately two out of three Americans said they watched the debate.  

The 52-point win for Romney in the debate is the largest that Gallup has ever found in its post-debate polling, topping former President Bill Clinton's 42-point win following the town hall debate in 1992.

President Barack Obama is locked in a statistical tie with Republican nominee Mitt Romney, according to the latest Politico/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll.

The poll shows Obama holding a negligible lead over Romney among likely voters nationwide, 49 percent to 48 percent.  Monday's poll amounts to a 1-point bump for Romney since last week.  In the previous Politico/GWU, Obama led Romney, 49 percent to 47 percent.  

The latest poll was conducted during the tracking period of October 1-4, which includes only the first day following Romney's stellar debate performance last week.  It also exlcudes the period following Friday's solid jobs report.  

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama holding a 2.1-point edge over Romney.


President Barack Obama owns commanding leads among Latino voters in two heavily targeted swing states, new polling data released Thursday shows.

According to Latino Decisions, Obama claims a colossal lead among Nevada Latinos, 78 percent to 17 percent.  The margin is narrower in Florida, with its high population of right-leaning Cuban-Americans, but the president still dominates among the voting bloc, 61 percent to 31 percent.

A number of recent polls have shown Obama eclipsing 70 percent support among Latinos nationwide

Appearing on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight on Thursday, former Republican presidential aspirants Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum weighed in on an issue that emerged from Wednesday night's debate: should PBS — and by extension, Big Bird and the gang on Sesame Street — receive federal funding?  

Gingrich said he'd "liberate" Big Bird from the burdensome federal bureaucracy, while Santorum admitted that he has already voted to kill the iconic character.  



A pair of religious groups will display ads celebrating Islam and urging tolerance in various New York City subway stations near the "anti-jihad" advertisements that have prompted a public backlash, the New York Times reports.  

The groups — one Christian and one Jewish — said their campaigns weren't coordinated.  Their ads will coincidentally go up on Monday.  

A pro-Israel group spnsored the original ad that's generated such an uproar.  The copy of that ad, which has been defaced in some stations, reads, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad."