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

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."

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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