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

The A.P. reports:

All 18 elementary school students buried in a landslide were confirmed dead Friday, while one other person also died after a hillside collapsed and smothered part of a village in mountainous southwestern China.

The Tiantou Elementary School was buried Thursday when the hillside collapsed in Zhenhe, a village in Yunnan province, the Yiliang County government said on its website.

All 18 students who were buried in the school were confirmed dead, the government said. The official Xinhua News Agency said the body of a 19th victim was found Friday. It gave no details, but the county government said earlier that a person was missing from a house that had collapsed.

Fifty-four percent of American adults approve of President Barack Obama's job performance, according to Gallup's daily tacking poll released Thursday.

That's not only Obama's high-water mark for 2012, it's also his highest approval rating in Gallup's tracking since November of 2009.  It also shows 42 percent give Obama negative marks for his job performance, matching his lowest disapproval rating for 2012.  Gallup's previous four releases this year that showed only 42 percent disapproving of Obama all came in September.  

The tracking period for Thursday's release was Oct. 1-3.   

Republican Linda McMahon holds a slim 1-point lead over Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy in Connecitcut's competitive U.S. Senate race, according to a new poll released Thursday.

The latest poll from Quinnipiac University shows McMahon leading Murphy among likely voters, 48 percent to 47 percent, in a race that represents an unexpected pick-up opportunity for the GOP.  

McMahon is viewed more favorably than her Democratic opponent.  Forty-five percent of Connecticut voters have a favorable view of the former professional wrestling mogul, compared with 41 percent who have an unfavorable view.  Murphy's favorability rating, on the other hand, is under water: 36 percent have a favorable view of the three-term congressman, while 40 percent have an unfavorable view.

The PollTracker Average shows the two candidates neck-and-neck, with Murphy holding a roughly 1-point edge over McMahon.


It isn't the eye-popping 14-point margin that caught the political world off guard last month, but President Barack Obama continues to boast a wide lead in Wisconsin, according to the latest Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday.

Obama leads Romney 53 percent to 42 percent among likely voters in a state that looks a lot less like the battleground that many anticipated after Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan joined the Republican ticket in August. The president claimed a commanding lead in Marquette's previous mid-September poll, 54 percent to 40 percent.

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President Barack Obama continues to look like the clear favorite in Ohio, while the race is tight in Virginia and Florida, according to a trio of polls out Wednesday.

In the latest slate of swing state polls released jointly by NBC News, Marist College and the Wall Street Journal, Obama boasts a comfortable lead over Mitt Romney among likely voters in Ohio, 51 percent to 43 percent. The Buckeye State slipped away from Romney last month, and Wednesday's poll indicates that the president is maintaining his strong standing there.

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President Barack Obama earns the support of nearly 60 percent of women nationwide while holding a 4-point lead overall, according to a poll from Quinnipiac University released Tuesday.

Although the president has consistently outpaced Romney among women, few polls have shown him hitting the lofty level of support with the key voting bloc that he reached in Tuesday's poll from Quinnipiac. Women widely prefer Obama to Romney in the poll, 56 percent to 38 percent.

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Voters nationwide are much more receptive to an immigration policy that helps illegal immigrants achieve legal status rather than one that focuses on deportation, a new poll released Tuesday shows.

The latest poll from CNN and ORC International shows that 56 percent of registered voters believe the U.S. government's primary focus should be on a plan that allows employed illegal immigrants to become legal residents.

Comparatively, 39 percent believe the government's main focus should be on stemming the flow of illegal immigration and deporting those who are already living here.

Poll trutherism is anything but a fringe belief among Republicans, a new poll released Tuesday shows.

The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP), commissioned by Daily Kos and Service Employees International Union, shows that 71 percent of Republicans believe pollsters are deliberately skewing their results to produce a more favorable outcome for President Barack Obama.    Overall, voters are split: 42 percent said they believe pollsters are intentionally skewing their polls, compared with 40 percent who said they are not.

Skepticism over recent polls — many of which have shown Obama with a growing lead over Mitt Romney — has reached a fever pitch among conservatives, epitomized by a new right-wing website that provides "unskewed" results of polls.  

President Barack Obama's already-lofty level of support among Latino voters has reached a new high, according to the latest weekly tracking poll from Latino Decisions released Monday.  

The poll shows Obama earning the support of 73 percent of Latino voters, while Romney trails with the support of only 21 percent.  It's the first time Obama has exceeded 70 percent in the six weeks that Latino Decisions has conducted its tracking surveys.  This week's installment also shows that more than 70 percent of Latino voters trust Obama over Romney on issues related to the economy, women, the Middle East and Latin America.  

Obama has held a massive lead among Latino voters throughout this campaign, according to the PollTracker Average, although he has not yet hit the 70 percent threshold.


If Republicans are ultimately denied their dream of stripping Sen. Harry Reid of his Majority Leader title this year, they may be confronted with the possibility that they fielded the wrong candidates — both in Senate races and in the presidential contest.

Mitt Romney's decline nationally and in various swing states in September dovetailed with the dip seen by Republican candidates in key Senate races. Consider the recent developments in various states.

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