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

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) holds a 12-point lead over Republican challenger Josh Mandel among likely voters in Ohio's senate race, according to a new poll from the Washington Post out Tuesday.

The poll shows Brown leading Mandel, 53 percent to 41 percent.  Both candidates are fairly unknown among Ohio voters.  Forty-nine percent have a favorable opinion of Brown, first elected in 2006, while 40 percent have an unfavorable view.  But 11 percent have no opinion of the freshman senator.  Mandel, the state treasurer, is viewed favorably by 42 percent of Buckeye State voters and unfavorably by 45 percent, but 13 percent have no opinion of the Republican nominee.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Brown, who has held a consistent advantage throughout the race, leading Mandel by 7.2 points.


Read More →

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) has had a rocky year, but a new poll out Tuesday shows he remains in a strong position to secure re-election in New York's 11th Congressional District.

According to a new poll from Siena College, Grimm leads Democratic challenger Mark Murphy among likely voters, 48 percent to 38 percent.  Grimm is also viewed favorably by 50 percent of voters in the district, which encompasses Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.  

The freshman lawmaker's Staten Island campaign office was vandalized earlier this week, and the FBI has been investigating both the fundraising efforts behind Grimm's 2010 campaign and a trip that he made to Cyprus in 2011.

Read More →

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday acknowledged that Mitt Romney's campaign has endured a rough patch as of late, which could be fatal to the Republican nominee's chances — that is, if the election were held tomorrow.

“We had a bad week — if the election were going to be held tomorrow that would be a problem, but there’s a lot of ground to cover in the next 42 days,” Christie said. “I don’t think we need to overreact on this.”

H/T Bloomberg

Read More →

More than half of registered voters nationwide prefer President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney to handle issues related to Medicare, according to a new poll from USA Today and Gallup released Monday.

The poll shows that 51 percent of voters across the country prefer Obama to preside over the nation's health care system for senior citizens, while 43 percent prefer Romney.  Voters in swing states give the nod to Obama on Medicare by a similar margin, 50 percent to 44 percent.  Gallup's swing state sample includes voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.    

The issue of Medicare was viewed by many as a potentially problematic policy area for the Republican ticket after Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate in August.  Ryan's much-ballyhooed budget proposal, widely celebrated on the right, included a provision to turn Medicare into a voucher program, a proposal that has proven to be consistently unpopular among voters.  

The PollTracker Average shows Obama gaining separation from Romney on the issue of Medicare this month, after the two candidates were running evenly on that for much of August.  


Read More →

U.S. House Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) leads Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) in Montana's hotly contested U.S. Senate race, according to a new poll released over the weekend.

The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon on behalf of Lee Newspapers, shows Rehberg, the state's lone member of the House of Representatives, earning the support of 48 percent of likely voters, compared with 45 percent who give the nod to the Democratic incumbent.  The state's junior senator, Tester was elected in 2006 after narrowly defeating former Republican Sen. Conrad Burns.  

Rehberg currently holds a slim lead over Tester in the PollTracker Average, 46.3 percent to 45 percent.


Read More →

President Barack Obama holds a 3-point lead over Mitt Romney nationally, according to a new poll out Monday.

The latest Politico/George Washington University poll shows the presidential race almost exactly as it has been for months: Obama claiming a narrow but consistent lead, while Romney lags with low personal popularity.  In the poll, Obama leads Romney among likely voters, 50 percent to 47 percent — slightly larger than the 1-point lead he held over the Republican nominee in the previous Politico/GWU poll in early August and within the latest poll's 3.1 percent margin of error.

Romney's favorability rating has slipped under water since August, when 46 percent of likely voters viewed the Republican nominee favorably and 46 percent viewed him unfavorably.  Today, 46 percent of voters still have a favorable view of Romney, but the number of voters who view him unfavorably has ticked up to 49 percent.  

Obama's favorability rating has improved from 50 percent a month ago to 53 percent in the latest poll, compared with 45 percent who view the president unfavorably (down 2 points from August).  And the president barely leads Romney on the question of who is best-suited to preside over the economy, 49 percent to 48 percent.  The former Massachusetts governor led by 5 points on that same question last month.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama holding a 2.5-point lead over Romney, an advantage that has dipped since the period immediately following the Democratic National Convention.


Read More →

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Friday expressed "frustration" with how Mitt Romney's campaign has operated since the early-August addition of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to the Republican ticket.  

In an interview with a local radio station, Walker said the Romney campaign needs to use his fellow Wisconsinite "more effectively" on the campaign trail.

“I thought [picking Ryan] was a signal that [Romney] was getting serious, he’s getting bold, it’s not necessarily even a frustration over the way Paul Ryan’s been used but rather in the larger context. I just haven’t seen that kind of passion I know Paul has transferred over to our nominee, and I think it’s a little bit of push-back from the folks in the national campaign. But I think for him to win he’s gotta [do] that.

“They not only need to use [Ryan] out on the trail more effectively, they need to have more of him rub off on Mitt because I think Mitt thinks that way but he’s gotta be able to articulate that…I think too many people are restraining him from telling [his vision].”

H/T Politico 

Read More →

President Barack Obama's yawning post-convention lead over Mitt Romney has extended to 7 points, according to two new polls released Friday.

Each poll shows the president earning the support of at least 50 percent of likely voters, while also showing a low level of support for Romney.  The Heartland Monitor Poll, conducted by FTI Consulting on behalf of All State and the National Journal, shows Obama leading Romney, 50 percent to 43 percent.  Obama's approval rating also hits 50 percent in the poll, while 46 percent of likely voters disapprove of the job he's doing as president.  

The new Reason-Rupe poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, shows Obama outpacing Romney among likely voters, 52 percent to 45 percent.  That includes undecided respondents who are leaning toward one candidate.  As has been the case throughout the campaign, the poll shows Obama with a decided edge over Romney on personal popularity.  

Fifty-two percent of voters surveyed say they have a favorable view of Obama, compared with 45 percent who have an unfavorable view.  Romney, on the other hand, is viewed favorably by only 41 percent of voters nationwide, while 49 percent view the former Massachusetts governor unfavorably.  And the poll shows that a central theme of the Romney campaign could be falling flat: 44 percent of voters say they are better off than they were four years ago, compared with 41 percent who say they are worse off and 14 percent say they are about the same.

Obama has now opened up a 5-point lead over Romney in the PollTracker Average, the president's largest lead over his challenger since the height of the Republican nomination contest.  While the average shows Obama inching closer to the 50 percent threshold, Romney has been trending downward since the beginning of the month.


Read More →

President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney by 5 in Wisconsin, a new poll released Thursday evening shows.

The latest poll from NBC News, Marist University and the Wall Street Journal shows Obama with a solid lead over Romney among likely voters in Wisconsin, 50 percent to 45 percent.  

Obama's 5-point lead is slimmer than the margins shown by other polls out of Wisconsin this week, including one released Wednesday by Marquette University Law School that showed the president boasting a 14-point lead over Romney there.  But Thursday's poll still cements Obama's increasingly strong standing in the Badger State.  Fifty-one percent of likely voters have a favorable impression of Obama, compared with 44 percent who have an unfavorable view.  

A plurality of Wisconsin voters, 46 percent, have an unfavorable view of Romney, compared with 43 percent who view the Republican nominee favorably.  On the other hand, Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, is still personally popular among his fellow Wisconsinites: 49 percent have a favorable view of the House Budget Committee Chairman, compared with 40 percent who have an unfavorable view.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama leading Romney in Wisconsin, 51.1 percent to 44.7 percent.


Read More →